Squid Recreation Craze: Netflix Sued by South Korea ISP Over Visitors 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 mentioned on Friday. The transfer comes after a Seoul court docket mentioned Netflix ought to “fairly” give one thing in return to the Web service supplier for community utilization, and a number of South Korean lawmakers have spoken out in opposition to content material suppliers who don’t pay for community utilization regardless of producing explosive visitors.

Netflix mentioned it is going to assessment SK Broadband’s declare, and search dialogue and discover methods within the meantime to work with SK Broadband to make sure prospects will not be affected.

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

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

SK Broadband mentioned it lodged a lawsuit in opposition to 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 obligation ends with creating content material and leaving it accessible. It mentioned SK’s bills have been incurred whereas fulfilling its contractual obligations to Web customers, and supply within the Web world is “freed from cost as a precept”, in line with court docket paperwork.

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

SK estimated the community utilization charge Netflix wanted to pay was about KRW 27.2 billion (roughly Rs. 170 crores) in 2020 alone, the court docket doc mentioned.

Netflix has appealed in opposition to the ruling, court docket information confirmed, with contemporary proceedings to start out in late December.

Netflix mentioned in a press release 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 mentioned on Wednesday that out of South Korea’s high 10 knowledge visitors mills, 78.5 % of the visitors got here from overseas 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 america, Netflix has been paying a charge to broadband supplier Comcast for over seven years for sooner streaming speeds. 

© Thomson Reuters 2021


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