Multichoice Malawi fined K10m, ordered to refund subscribers

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Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) has ordered Multichoice Malawi to pay K10 million fine and to refund subscribers for adjusting DSTv tariffs without approval from the authority.

According to a statement by MACRA director general Daud Suleman, MACRA board met on 22 December, 2022 where it found that Multichoice breached section 74(1) of the Communications and clause 11 of Multichoice Subscription Management Service Licence by adjusting tariffs for DSTv without approval from MACRA.

The regulatory has since ordered Multichoice to pay K10 million fine within 30 days.

The regulatory authority has also ordered Multichoice to credit its customers per bouquet the difference between pre-adjustment price for its bouquets and the new price which was implemented in July, 2022.

“The refunds shall cover the period from the date of effecting the purported tariff adjustment (15 July 2022) to the date of refund.

“Multichoice should submit its subscriber database to the authority and publish a notice in the press stating that customers have been credited with the difference between the unapproved tariff and the pre-adjustment tariff,” reads part of the statement.

MACRA has further ordered Multichoice to cease and desist from implementing the unapproved tariffs.

In response, MultiChoice Malawi Corporate Affairs Manager Zena Makunje has said the company only provides GOtv service in Malawi while the DSTv service is not offered by the company.

According to Makunje, Multichoice Malawi  does not set the price for DSTv nor decide any price adjustments but merely collects the subscription on behalf Multichoice Africa Holdings.

“MACRA is therefore penalizing MultiChoice Malawi for a service that is not ours, for prices we do not set and attempting to impose conditions which the law does not prescribe,” reads part of Makunje’s statement dated 6 January.

Makunje has since said that MultiChoice  is seeking legal advice on the action taken by MACRA.

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