Netflix, the world’s leading entertainment streaming service, and South Korean Internet service provider SK Broadband have resolved their three-year-long legal disputes. The parties disagreed in 2020 as SK Broadband demanded that Netflix cover costs incurred from heightened network traffic and maintenance.
However, on Monday, September 18, SK announced that it is ending all lawsuits with Netflix. They also agreed to collaborate on future business expansion efforts in South Korea, one of the world’s most connected nations.
The Legal Battle of Three Years Comes to an End
In a joint statement, Netflix, SK Broadband, and its parent company, SK Telecom, announced a strategic partnership to enhance entertainment experiences for their South Korean customers.
Recall the legal conflict between these two companies started in April 2020 when Netflix instigated a lawsuit against SK Broadband in a Seoul court. This was in response to SK Broadband’s request for compensation for network usage within South Korea, which Netflix had rejected.
The court ruled in favor of SK Broadband in June 2021, instructing Netflix to make a payment. Netflix appealed this decision, and SK Broadband countersued, seeking a high court in Seoul to determine the fee amount.
This dispute garnered global attention due to the significant increase in internet traffic caused by the growing popularity of over-the-top (OTT) media platforms like Netflix and YouTube.
In response, the National Assembly considered eight bills related to network usage fees in South Korea. Also, similar discussions emerged in the United States and Europe due to the ongoing legal process.
Netflix to Pay Lower Fees for Content Delivery
Under the terms of the latest agreement, Netflix will pay a reduced fee to broadband firms for delivering its content to their customers. This will allow Netflix to pass on the savings to its subscribers through lower prices.
The agreements also include provisions for increased cooperation between Netflix and broadband firms, leading to improved consumer service quality. The end of the dispute is also good news for consumers since they will enjoy lower prices for streaming services with improved service quality.
Netflix has announced that it will lower its prices in South Korea by up to 20%, making it more affordable for consumers and competitive with other streaming platforms.
The Future of Broadband in South Korea
In addition, the resolved dispute marks a positive development for the future of broadband in South Korea. The agreements between Netflix and South Korean Broadband firms will pave the way for further cooperation, which could lead to new and innovative services.
One area of potential cooperation is the development of new streaming services. According to reports, Netflix plans to introduce new services, such as cloud gaming and live TV services.
By working with broadband firms, Netflix could bring these services to market more quickly and efficiently. Also, Netflix is interested in new broadband technologies such as 5G and gigabit fiber. These technologies could offer consumers even faster speeds and better performance.
By working with broadband firms, Netflix could accelerate the development and deployment of these new technologies.