SK broadband and Netflix, the world’s main on-line video streaming service (OTT), have settled their community utilization price litigation and agreed to a service partnership. Consequently, clients can now entry Netflix content material on SK telecom’s cell and Web Protocol TV (IPTV) platforms.
Whereas the litigation between the 2 corporations has been concluded, the continuing community utilization price disputes between Google’s YouTube and home telecoms corporations stay unresolved.
On Sept. 18, SK broadband and Netflix revealed that they’ve mutually withdrawn lawsuits regarding unjust enrichment and debt non-existence affirmation. In flip, they’ve determined to forge a strategic partnership. Notably, in contrast to KT and LG Uplus, SK broadband, which confronted challenges in buying subscribers with out providing Netflix content material, and Netflix, cautious of a precedent that might influence them internationally, have reached this shock settlement.
The specifics of the settlement stay undisclosed. Nonetheless, one of many contentious points in the course of the lawsuit, the Open Join Equipment (OCA) that’s Netflix’s proprietary community, was mentioned. To supply a secure buyer expertise, SK telecom, SK broadband, and Netflix have agreed to deploy OCA. Putting in OCA can scale back community utilization, a way that Netflix has adopted by forming partnerships with telecoms corporations that voiced issues about community utilization burdens.
Netflix acknowledged, “We plan to supply the OCA freed from cost,” and “Particulars might be finalized by way of operational discussions.” LG Uplus presently gives Netflix service by way of a home OCA set up, and KT is linked to Japan’s OCA.
There’s additionally hypothesis throughout the telecoms trade that, in return for dropping the lawsuit, Netflix will compensate SK broadband with charges similar to community utilization.
As well as, SK telecom, SK broadband, and Netflix introduced a partnership on the identical day to supply clients a seamless Netflix expertise on platforms reminiscent of smartphones and IPTV (B television). It will embody launching Netflix-bundled merchandise together with SK telecom’s tariff plans and SK broadband’s IPTV merchandise. Moreover, a Netflix bundled product might be launched with SK telecom’s “T Universe” subscription product.
Traditionally, SK broadband argued that as a result of surge in site visitors demand, world content material suppliers (CP), together with Netflix, ought to pay community utilization charges. In distinction, Netflix claimed that trying to cost each end-users and CPs constituted “double billing” and filed a lawsuit to verify the non-existence of this debt. The court docket of first occasion dominated in favor of SK broadband, however Netflix appealed. SK broadband additionally retaliated by submitting a lawsuit within the Seoul Excessive Courtroom, demanding the return of unjust income.
At present, there are eight proposed amendments to the Telecommunications Enterprise Act within the Nationwide Meeting aiming to make clear community utilization charges. Some worry that with the withdrawal of this lawsuit, momentum for these legislative adjustments may lower. Nonetheless, the telecom trade and specialists are urging the institution of a minimum of minimal authorized requirements. The YouTube community utilization price concern stays, and preventative measures are essential to keep away from comparable disputes sooner or later.
Professor Shin Min-soo from Hanyang College’s Enterprise Division commented, “The community utilization price concern with Google’s YouTube, which lacks options and opponents, stays unresolved. Moreover, we can’t rule out potential issues arising from future negotiations between Netflix and telecoms corporations.” Professor Shin added, “To forestall pointless conflicts, we should enact laws that establishes a minimum of primary pointers for community utilization.”