29 April 2016 - On 16 March 2016, the Media Development Authority of Singapore issued a Closing Note to the Public Consultation on the Proposed Amendments to the Consumer Protection Measures in Part Three of the MMCC.
On 16 March 2016, the Media Development Authority of Singapore ("MDA") issued a Closing Note to the Public Consultation on the Proposed Amendments to the Consumer Protection Measures in Part Three of the MMCC.
Following MDA's issuance of the Closing Note, MDA received submissions from pay TV operators that the proposed amendments to the MMCC, in relation to consumer protection, should apply to only residential or individual consumers. They submitted that:
corporates are larger and more sophisticated than residential customers;
commercial customers are generally treated separately, e.g. they will avail themselves of different packages, and the pricing and applicable terms and conditions are different from those of residential customers; and
the "Guidelines on Maximum Contract Term and Early Termination Charges for Pay TV Services Offered to Consumers", which also relates to consumer protection, only apply to residential pay TV contracts.
MDA notes that corporates are generally more able to protect their own interests as compared to individual consumers. Their contracts for pay TV service are typically negotiated separately with the pay TV operators and customised to suit their commercial needs.
MDA also notes that the amendments to Part 3 of MMCC, specifically Paragraphs 3.2A to 3.2F, 3.5A and 3.5B, are primarily to address the concerns of individual consumers e.g. unilateral changes to service by pay TV operators, lack of awareness of pay TV contract terms and forced upgrading of non-pay TV services using pay TV service.
Having considered the submissions, MDA is of the view that the obligations of Regulated Persons under Paragraphs 3.2A to 3.2F, 3.5A and 3.5B of the MMCC shall apply to individual consumers, and exclude corporate entities.
Pursuant to section 17(4) of the Media Development Authority of Singapore Act (Cap. 172), MDA hereby exempts Regulated Persons from Paragraphs 3.2A to 3.2F, 3.5A and 3.5B of the MMCC (the "Exemption"), subject to the following conditions:
that the consumer the Regulated Person is dealing with is a corporate entity; and
MDA reserves the right to review the Exemption, including the right to vary and/or withdraw the Exemption, as well as to vary and/or impose additional conditions in relation to the Exemption at any time as MDA deems fit.
The Exemption shall take effect from 30 April 2016.
MDA will continue to monitor the provision of pay TV services by Regulated Persons and reserves the right to take any action, including but not limited to the circumstances where MDA becomes aware of any new fact or matter that is relevant for the purposes of this Decision. This Decision shall not create any legitimate expectation for, or be construed as a precedent by, any person in relation to MDA's future assessment of the matters stated in this Industry Circular. All of MDA's rights are expressly reserved.
Any queries on this Industry Circular may be addressed to:
The Media Development Authority of Singapore
Attn: Arthur Fong, Deputy Director (Consumer Policy), Policy Division
Grant of Exemption