April 15, 2022 · less than 3 min read
Having withdrawn from the Russian market, Netflix is facing a class-action lawsuit from angry customers.
When it rains…
When Russia invaded Ukraine in February, a flood of companies quickly closed their Russian operations. From banks to retailers to streaming platforms, there has been (almost) universal agreement on the need to isolate the Russian market. The only problem for Netflix: It now faces significant legal action over its swift departure.
Netflix subscribers are filing a class-action lawsuit claiming that Netflix’s decision to suspend its streaming platform in Russia violates their rights, and are seeking $726,000 in compensation. I mean, how would you feel if they took Stranger Things and The Office away?
But it’s not like this has come completely out of the blue. Relations between Netflix and the Russian state are complex at the best of times. Just before Russia’s invasion, the two started butting heads when Netflix refused to carry 20 of the Kremlin’s finest propaganda channels.
And it’s not just Netflix in the bad books, either. Having been grinding up its subscriber count for months, the Kremlin was furious to see YouTube suspend the official Duma – that’s the Russian parliament – account, and has moved to ban YouTube for 10 years. Back to the day job, then.
It’s a bit of a pain for Netflix, but far from the end of the world. Russian Netflix users only amount to a modest million, which is a meager portion of its nearly 200 million subscribers around the world. And with only 20 parties behind the lawsuit, it remains to be seen how much of a problem this case will eventually be.
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