Netflix is being sued by a South Korean ISP because the Squid Game has become far too popular
SK Broadband wants Netflix to pay for increased network maintenance and costs caused by the popular show.
A South Korean internet service provider has sued Netflix, requesting that the company pay for costs incurred as a result of an increase in traffic caused by the popularity of the series Squid Game.
The dispute began in 2019 when SK Broadband filed a complaint with the Korea Communications Commission regarding Netflix’s refusal to pay usage fees. According to a Korea Economic Daily report, the companies were unable to reach an agreement, prompting Netflix to sue SK Broadband in April 2020, seeking a declaration that it was not required to pay any additional fees.
The Seoul Central District Court ruled against Netflix in June 2021, declaring that it is receiving “a service provided at a cost” and that it is “reasonable” that it should pay for that service. However, a specific resolution “must be determined by negotiations between the parties involved, whether or not some fees will be paid, or whether they enter into an agreement in accordance with the principle of freedom of contract.”
Netflix has appealed that decision, but according to Reuters, SK Broadband has now filed its own lawsuit against Netflix for rising traffic and maintenance costs. Netflix data traffic on its network is now 24 times higher than it was in May 2018, according to the company, owing largely to the phenomenal success of shows such as Squid Game. According to SK Broadband, Netflix owes it approximately 27.2 billion won ($23 million) in usage fees for 2020.
According to Reuters, Netflix is the second-highest data traffic generator in South Korea, trailing only YouTube. Despite this, Netflix and YouTube parent Google are the only companies that do not pay network usage fees; Amazon, Apple, and Facebook all do. In addition, Netflix pays usage fees in other countries, including the United States, to help ensure priority service.
“We will review the claim filed by SK Broadband against us,” a Netflix representative told TechCrunch. “In the meantime, we will continue to seek the open dialogue and explore ways to collaborate with SK Broadband in order to provide a seamless streaming experience for our mutual customers.”
We strongly encourage you to join the Squid Game train if you haven’t already done so, regardless of where you live.