The Competition and Consumer Protection Commission –CCPC- and the Independent Broadcasting Authority –IBA- have assured members of the public that they have followed with keen interest the complaints that have been publicly made regarding Multichoice Zambia on their DSTV bouquet.
Among the complaints include non-reduction of DSTV subscription despite the kwacha appreciation, the repeat of programs and shows on DSTV and ZNBC channels not being available on the DSTV bouquet when subscription has expired.
In a joint statement, CCPC and IBA says regarding the non-reduction of the DSTV subscription price due to appreciation of the kwacha, the public have been reminded that in a liberal economy like zamia, no regulator has the legal power to regulate the price of any goods or services.
The have explained that where prices are regulated, there are specific laws that provide for that regulation and have disclosed that preliminary inquiries conducted by CCPC in this matter indicate that the non-reduction of prices following the appreciation of the kwacha is not anti-competitive and does not constitute unfair trading hence there is no violation under the competition and consumer protection act no. 24 of 2010.
IBA and CCPC further note that although macro-economic fundamentals, particularly the exchange rate and inflation have improved, these are not the only basis for price determination and thus, compelling businesses to adjust prices in response to the movement of economic fundamentals is tantamount to price controls.
And on the repeat of programs and shows on DSTV, the two institutions have advised the public that content acquired is made available to as many consumers as possible by making it available over a given period to allow consumers an opportunity to access the content.
With regards ZNBC channels not being available on the DSTV bouquet when subscription expires, IBA and CCPC has notified DSTV consumers that signal distributors are the only entities obliged to make available free to air content to consumers such free to air content include ZNBC channels and that, currently there are only 2 signal distributors namely, Topstar and Gotv Zambia limited.
They have explained that Multichoice Zambia is not a signal distributor but a subscriber manager for the DSTV product and is therefore not obliged to make available for free, free to air content, such as ZNBC channels.