SK telecom, Netflix end legal dispute over network traffic fees

2023.09.19 10:12:01 | 2023.09.19 15:29:06

SK telecom Co. office building. [Photo by Lee Seung-hwan]이미지 확대

SK telecom Co. office building. [Photo by Lee Seung-hwan]

SK Broadband, a subsidiary of South Korean wireless carrier SK telecom Co., has officially ended its prolonged legal dispute over network traffic fees with global streaming platform Netflix Inc. SK telecom announced the successful resolution of the conflict and revealed a strategic partnership with Netflix to enhance customer convenience on Monday.

As part of this new collaboration, SK telecom and SK Broadband will enable customers to access Netflix via their smartphones and IPTV services, known as B tv. While they will also introduce a range of bundled plans for customers by combining SK telecom’s price plans with SK Broadband IPTV offerings, SK telecom’s subscription service T Universe will introduce a new Netflix bundle. Netflix will also introduce its newly launched ad-based plans to the market.

These new products are set to be released starting in the first half of 2024.

Beyond products, the partnership will also foster technological cooperation. SK telecom and SK Broadband will collaborate with Netflix to explore ways to deliver user-friendly entertainment experiences through artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, leveraging SKT’s extensive experience in interactive UX and personalized guidance.

The specific terms that led to the resolution of the legal dispute have not been disclosed. But some industry insiders speculate that Netflix agreed to pay a fee akin to a network usage fee in exchange for dropping the lawsuit.

“A partnership with SK telecom and SK Broadband, the leading players in Korea’s telecommunications and technology sectors, is important in that it has the potential to enhance the viewing experience for Netflix members,” according to Tony Zameczkowski, vice president at Netflix Asia Pacific.

“The partnership aligns with our commitment to prioritizing customer value,” SK telecom Vice President of Corporate Strategy Choi Hwan-seok added.

By Kim Dae-young and Han Yubin

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