Squid Game Craze: Netflix Sued by South Korea Broadband Firm Over Traffic Surge

South Korean Web service supplier SK Broadband has sued Netflix to pay for prices from elevated community visitors and upkeep work due to a surge of viewers to the US agency’s content material, an SK spokesperson stated on Friday. The transfer comes after a Seoul courtroom stated Netflix ought to “moderately” give one thing in return to the Web service supplier for community utilization, and a number of South Korean lawmakers have spoken out towards content material suppliers who don’t pay for community utilization regardless of producing explosive visitors.

Netflix stated it’ll overview SK Broadband’s declare, and search dialogue and discover methods within the meantime to work with SK Broadband to make sure prospects usually are not affected.

The recognition of the hit collection Squid Sport and different choices have underscored Netflix’s standing because the nation’s second-largest information visitors generator after Google’s YouTube, however the two are the one ones to not pay community utilization charges, which different content material suppliers corresponding to Amazon, Apple, and Fb are paying, SK stated.

Netflix’s information visitors dealt with by SK jumped 24 instances from Might 2018 to 1.2 trillion bits of information processed per second as of September, SK stated, driving on the success of a number of Netflix productions from Korea together with Squid Sport and DP.

SK Broadband stated it lodged a lawsuit towards Netflix for it to pay for utilizing SK’s networks since Netflix started utilizing SK’s devoted line beginning 2018 to ship more and more bigger quantities of data-heavy, high-definition video content material to viewers in Korea from servers in Japan and Hong Kong.

Final 12 months, Netflix had introduced its personal lawsuit on whether or not it had any obligation to pay SK for community utilization, arguing Netflix’s responsibility ends with creating content material and leaving it accessible. It stated SK’s bills had been incurred whereas fulfilling its contractual obligations to Web customers, and supply within the Web world is “freed from cost as a precept”, in response to courtroom paperwork.

However the Seoul Central District Court docket dominated towards Netflix in June, saying that SK is seen as offering “a service offered at a price” and it’s “cheap” for Netflix to be “obligated to offer one thing in return for the service”.

SK estimated the community utilization payment Netflix wanted to pay was about KRW 27.2 billion (roughly Rs. 170 crores) in 2020 alone, the courtroom doc stated.

Netflix has appealed towards the ruling, courtroom information confirmed, with contemporary proceedings to start out in late December.

Netflix stated in an announcement on Wednesday that it contributed to the creation of about 16,000 jobs in South Korea stemming from about KRW 770 billion (roughly Rs. 4,840 crores) in investments, in addition to an financial impact of about KRW 5.6 trillion (roughly Rs. 35,200 crores).

Ruling occasion lawmaker Kim Sang-hee stated on Wednesday that out of South Korea’s high 10 information visitors turbines, 78.5 % of the visitors got here from international content material suppliers, up from 73.1 % a 12 months earlier, with “Google-YouTube and Netflix that account for almost all turning a blind eye to community utilization charges”.

In the US, Netflix has been paying a payment to broadband supplier Comcast for over seven years for quicker streaming speeds. 

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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