Competition watchdog probes DStv's dominance

Regulation & Policy

The Competition Authority is set to launch investigations into the operations of MultiChoice Africa, the owners of DStv, for abuse of market dominance following the collapse of its rivals in Kenya's pay-TV market.

The newly established authority - charged with promoting fair competition - says its probe will seek to establish whether DStv has unwarranted concentration of economic power that makes it lock the majority of Kenyans into its network, thus new operators fail to break even.

The probe follows the collapse of Smart TV early this month on low uptake of it service and inadequate funding, making it the second pay-television operator in Kenya to close shop after GTV fell into financial distress in 2009.

Mr Richard Bell, the Wananchi Group CEO, claims that despite DStv being unable to grow the number of subscribers in the country beyond 120,000 due to high charges, the new entrants were unable to take root because DStv had exclusive rights to the premium content.

“The current monopolistic tendencies are killing the pay-TV sector in this country, “ he said in an earlier interview.

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