A Seoul court ruled against global streaming giant Netflix in a network usage fee dispute with South Korean internet access provider SK Broadband.
On Friday, the Seoul Central District Court dismissed Netflix’s claim that it is not responsible for network usage fees to SK Broadband and rejected its argument that it is not obligated to negotiate with the South Korean company.
The dispute began in November 2019 when SK Broadband brought in the Korea Communications Commission to mediate with Netflix on usage fees.
Local internet service providers have been struggling with heavy traffic amid the popularity of over-the-top(OTT) media services. They want content providers like Netflix to share the cost and not get a free ride.
Additionally, SK argued that Netflix pays what appears to be network usage fees to other telecoms in the U.S. and France, but none in South Korea.
Refusing arbitration, Netflix Services Korea, the local unit of the streaming giant, then filed the lawsuit in April last year against SK, claiming it was not obligated to pay fees for using the network.