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Friday, October 22, 2021

Netflix may need to pay tens of millions in bandwidth utilization charges in South Korea

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South Korean web service supplier SK Broadband is suing Netflix to pay for the elevated community prices and bandwidth utilization the streaming service’s content material has drawn in South Korea, Reuters writes. The corporate cites Squid Recreation and D.P., two well-liked Korean Netflix dramas, as a part of the trigger.

SK Broadband’s demand for fee isn’t unfounded. A South Korean court docket sided with the ISP in June, The Korea Herald writes, suggesting Netflix was chargeable for the calls for its content material places on SK. Counter to Netflix’s request that it not be charged — since prospects are those streaming, they usually already pay for it — the court docket mentioned the corporate has “the duty of paying the worth for the companies to SK Broadband.” SK estimates the fee at 27.2 billion gained (round $23 million) for 2020 alone, in accordance with Reuters.

The Verge has contacted Netflix for remark. The corporate shared the following statement with TechCrunch in response to SK’s calls for:

We are going to assessment the declare that SK Broadband has filed in opposition to us. Within the meantime, we proceed to hunt open dialogue and discover methods of working with SK Broadband in an effort to guarantee a seamless streaming expertise for our shared prospects.

Netflix’s success in Korea and in popularizing Korean movie and tv within the US has come to a head within the final 12 months, and notably within the final week, due to the shock hit Squid Recreation. Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos said Monday that it was on monitor to be the corporate’s hottest present but, and inside 4 days of its launch, it was already number one in the US on Netflix’s high ten chart.

Netflix strikes deals with service providers like Comcast in the US in order that its connection will get precedence therapy and, in the end, higher video high quality. Nonetheless, Netflix is in a unique place now than when it agreed to pay Comcast — it already misplaced in court docket, and SK Telecom isn’t incentivized to make a deal while regulators consider a pending Big Cable merger — so regardless that it has extra weight to throw round, it’s additionally already offered an instance of why it would pay within the first place.

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(Disclaimer: Comcast is an investor in Vox Media, which owns The Verge.)

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