South Korean internet service provider faces lawsuit
Netflix Korea has brought SK Broadband, South Korea’s leading internet service provider, to the court due to conflicts over network fees, according to the companies.
The lawsuit came in respond to SK Broadband’s requests that Netflix should pay additional fees for its costs of upgrading and expanding networks caused by the rising Netflix-related traffic.
Netflix has countered that it has no obligation to share the network costs incurred to SK Broadband, an affiliate of one of Korea’s top conglomerates SK Group.
And this Monday, the U.S.-based media service provider asked the Seoul Central District Court to confirm that it is not obliged to pay the additional fees.
The clash between the two firms first surfaced last November when SK Broadband required the Korea Communication Commission to meddle in to settle the disagreement.
Back then, SK Broadband said that it asked for negotiations to share the costs nine times, but Netflix turned a deaf year.
The commission was supposed to come up with its determination in a month to come. But Netflix’s lawsuit will make the government authority drop the case.
SK Broadband has claimed that it made investment amounting to around $700 million in its facilities over the past three years, and a substantial proportion was spent to support the traffic-heavy services of Netflix and Google.
The number of Korean Netflix subscribers topped 2 million last November, a five-fold increase from 400,000 in early 2018, according to data of local consultancy WiseApp.
The outbreak of the novel coronavirus pandemic is expected to further raise the traffic as more people turn to Netflix, a tried-and-tested entertainment option.
UPI News Korea provides this article. _ ED.