MultiChoice hit by Malawi fine
January 9, 2023
By Chris Forrester
Pan-African pay-TV operator MultiChoice has been fined 10 million Kwacha (€93,800) by Malawi for breaches of its licence conditions. However, DStv says the fine is unwarranted.
Malawi’s Communications Regulatory Authority (MACRA) also ordered MultiChoice to refund DStv subscribers cash because DStv allegedly adjusted its local tariffs in July last year without pre-approval from MACRA.
According to a statement by MACRA director general Daud Suleman, MACRA board met on December 22nd 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 fine must be paid within 30 days.
“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.
However, 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.
“MACRA is therefore penalising 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 January 6th. Makunje has since said that MultiChoice is seeking legal advice on the action taken by MACRA.