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|Viettel has replaced 22 foreign TV channels without annoucenment to its customers|
According to Vnexpress, the Ministry of Industry and Trade's (MoIT) Competition and Consumer Rights Protection Agency will impose a fine on Viettel due to suddenly replacing 22 international television channels without making an announcement for its customers.
In addition, the agency also requested Viettel to provide comprehensive and accurate information for consumers using its pay-TV services.
Besides, Viettel will also have to refund customers if they are not satisfied with the new television channels. On the other hand, the customers will have to return the equipment initially installed to connect to Viettel’s network.
Previously, in the middle of April, the Competition and Consumer Rights Protection Agency punished VTVcab for a similar violation. The issue resulted in VTVCab not being able to host an initial public offering (IPO) because only one buyer registered for the auction.
VTVcab and Viettel’s termination of the contracts with Qnet—the firm owning the distribution rights for 30 international TV channels—is supposed to break Qnet’s exclusive hold on this segment.
According to data released by the Authority of Broadcasting and Electronic Information, the government has issued licences to 70 international television channels to be broadcasted in Vietnam, including Qnet (30 channels) and nine other distributors (Thao Le, BHD, Fox, and others) with a total of 40 channels.
However, as each foreign television channel nominates only one exclusive distribution agent in Vietnam, pay-TV enterprises have no choice in negotiating the prices of international broadcasting rights.
Before April 1, 2018, Qnet distributed TV channels for 10 pay-TV units, including VTVcab, NextTV (Viettel), SCTV, K+, HTVC, MyTV, FPT Television, MobiTV, VTC, and HanoiCab. After VTVcab and NextTV terminated their contracts with Qnet, the giant distributor still had eight clients.