You really can be too popular for your own good. Netflix is being sued in South Korea, in part over the enormous success of Squid Game.
Squid Game is creating obsessives around the world, storming its way to the top of Netflix’s most watched series ever.
But not everyone is happy about it inevitably knocking Bridgerton off that number one perch.
A South Korean internet service provider, SK Broadband, is suing Netflix over the increased traffic thanks to Netflix’s popularity in the country, according to Reuters.
The American streaming service has significantly increased its presence in South Korea thanks to its deep-pocketed investment in local TV and film productions, including the immensely popular Squid Game, a violent social satire that uses the narrative framework of a murderous competition to highlight the country’s growing wealth inequality gap.
SK Broadband said in its claims that Netflix is South Korea’s second-largest traffic generator, after YouTube, and other streamers such as Amazon, Facebook and Apple are paying network usage fees.
According to SK Broadband, Netflix’s data through its network has exploded 24-fold from May 2018 to September 2021, and it’s now processing 1.2 trillion bits of data per second. Squid Game was released on September 17.
SK Broadband’s lawsuit wants Netflix to retroactively pay for network access, dating back to 2018, which for 2020 was estimated to be 27.2 billion won ($AU31 million).
Reuters reported that Netflix had previously brought its own lawsuit on its obligation to pay SK Broadband network fees and had argued its obligation is to create the content and make it accessible.
However, the Seoul Central District Court ruled against Netflix, which has appealed with another court date set for December.
Netflix said it had invested 770 billion won ($AU896 million) in South Korea’s TV and film production industry, amounting to 16,000 jobs.