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Netflix Sued in South Korea Over Squid Game

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Online streaming giant Netflix is being sued by South Korean (ISP), SK Broadband to pay for costs from increased network traffic because of a surge of Korean viewers of the show Squid Game.

The lawsuit comes after a Seoul court said that Netflix should “reasonably” give money back to the Internet service provider (ISP) for use of the network. Several South Korean legislators have also argued against content providers that don’t pay for the use of the network despite the generation of massive traffic.

Netflix in a statement said it would review the claims of SK Broadband and search for dialogue with the ISP to explore a solution and also ensure Netflix customers were not affected.

The popularity of the Netflix Series Hit Series Squid Game has generated the second most data traffic in the republic of South Koreas after YouTube. Netflix and YouTube are the only Tech monopolies that do not pay the costs of user data. Tech giants, Amazon, Apple and Facebook are paying for data usage, SK Broadband said.

SK Broadband claims data traffic from streaming giant was 24 times higher from May 2018.

Netflix appeals court decision

The Internat service provider said it filed a lawsuit against Netflix for it to pay for data system use since Netflix began using SK Broadband’s dedicated line starting 2018. streaming giant started using their broadband to deliver increasingly larger amounts of high-definition video to viewers in South Korea from servers in Japan and Hong Kong.

Last year, Netflix had brought a similar lawsuit on whether it had the obligation to pay SK Broadband for network usage. Netflix argued duty ends with creating content and leaving it accessible.

The streaming giant said SK Boradband’ss expenses were incurred while fulfilling its contractual obligations to its Internet users. Furthermore, delivery in the Internet world is “free of charge”.

However, a Seoul Court ruled against Netflix in June, saying that SK Broadband was seen as providing “a service provided at a cost to Netflix” and it is “reasonable” for Netflix to be “obligated to provide something in return for the service”.

SK Broadband estimated the network usage fee the streaming giant needed to pay was around US$33 million for 2020 alone. The streaming giant has since appealed against the Seoul ruling, with fresh proceedings to start in late December.

A statement released this week by the streaming giant said that its service contributed to the creation of over 16,000 jobs in South Korea, stemming from about US$650 million in investments.

Source: Asia One


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