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Multichoice Refuses to Comply with Court Order Instead Exits Malawian Market

MultiChoice, which operates under the brands DStv, GOtv, and Showmax, has been providing satellite and digital terrestrial television services in Malawi since 1996. It has over 100,000 subscribers in the country, according to its latest annual report. However, the company has been at loggerheads with the Malawi Communications Regulatory Authority since January 2023, when MACRA fined Multichoice 10 million Kwacha for raising prices in July 2022 without obtaining prior approval. MACRA also demanded a refund to all DStv subscribers, citing consumer protection laws. Multichoice challenged the verdict in court, arguing that it was not bound by MACRA’s tariff regulations, as it was only a supplier and not a licensee of broadcasting services in Malawi. It also claimed that the prices were set by its parent company, Multichoice Africa Holdings, based in Dubai and that it could not revert to the previous tariffs without affecting its operations in Malawi and other countries.