Regulator launches probe into Netflix, Wavve over alleged unfair biz practices

The Netflix logo is shown on one of their Hollywood buildings in Los Angeles, California, U.S., July 12, 2023.   Reuters-Yonhap

The Netflix logo is shown on one of their Hollywood buildings in Los Angeles, California, U.S., July 12, 2023. Reuters-Yonhap

Korea’s antitrust regulator has launched an on-site inspection into over-the-top streaming platforms Netflix and Wavve on suspicions of their failure to properly notify users of terms of an early subscription cancellation, officials said Monday.

The Fair Trade Commission (FTC) sent inspectors to their respective offices in Seoul and secured documents on their terms of use and other customer response policy measures on unsubscribing from the services, according to industry officials.

Netflix and Wavve have allegedly made it difficult for users to cancel their subscription early for a partial refund or have not provided them with enough information on how to cancel the membership within the billing period.

The probe has been led by a newly established FTC team in charge of “swift and intensive” investigation into cases in which many people have been highly interested, the officials said.

The FTC refused to confirm if any probe is going on into the platforms, simply vowing “a stern response to any violations.”

Netflix is the No. 1 video-on-demand streaming service in Korea with more than 11.64 million monthly users as of end-2023, and Wavve by Korea’s SK Square ranked fourth with 4.05 million users, according to the data by the Korea Communications Commission. (Yonhap)

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