Netflix sued after Squid Game causes surge of viewers in South Korea

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Squid Game's mammoth surge in viewers in South Korea has led to internet service provider SK Broadband to reportedly sue Netflix.

The unusual series has skyrocketed in popularity since it was released on the streaming platform last month.

It delves into a group of people who are given the opportunity to win money by competing in a range of bizarre children's games.

But there's a catch to the seemingly lighthearted premise – if the contestants lose, they die.

The chilling drama, which seems to be rather similar to the concept of Hollywood movies The Hunger Games, is already on its way to becoming one of Netflix's most popular commissions of all time.

Reuters have now reported that internet company SK Broadband is suing Netflix over the increased traffic, claiming it's due to the surge in popularity in their country.

The company also claimed that Netflix is one of the largest traffic generators in South Korea, second only to video sharing website YouTube.

SK Broadband claimed that Facebook, Apple and Amazon are paying fees for their network usage.

The internet company went on to allege that traffic from Netflix on its network has increased dramatically in the last three years.

From May 2018 to September 2021, they claimed that the traffic has risen 24-fold.

SK Broadband is now reportedly processing 1.2 trillion bits of data per second as of last month, which is the same one that Squid Game came out on the 17th.

The provider wants Netflix to pay for their network access dating back to 2018, which is a mammoth amount totalling around 27.2 billion won – roughly just under £17million – for 2020 alone.

A spokesperson for Netflix told American news channel CNBC on Friday: "We will review the claim that SK Broadband has filed against us.

"In the meantime, we continue to seek open dialogue and explore ways of working with SK Broadband in order to ensure a seamless streaming experience for our shared customers."

Last year, Netflix brought its own lawsuit over whether it was obligated to pay SK Broadband for their network usage.

At the time, the streaming company argued that their duty was only to create content and ensure it is accessible.

Seoul Central District Court ruled against Netflix, saying the streamer should "reasonably" pay a contribution to SK Broadband for network usage, but the content giant appealed.

Fresh proceedings are set to start in December.

Netflix recently said that Squid Game created 16,000 jobs in South Korea.

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