Russian Netflix users have reportedly filed a class-action lawsuit against the streaming giant over the service’s loss.
Last month, Netflix confirmed that it had suspended its service in Russia in protest of the country’s invasion of Ukraine. Netflix has also paused all projects and acquisitions from Russia. Before withdrawing from the country, Netflix refused to transfer 20 free Russian advertising channels that it was required to host under Russian law.
Russia’s state media agency RIA has now reported that 20 people (the minimum required in Russia for a class action) have already joined the legal action against the operator with about a hundred other people applying to join.
Netflix has amassed nearly 1 million subscribers since its launch in Russia in 2016. A subscription to Netflix in Russia costs around 799 rubles ($9.67) per month.
The plaintiffs are represented by the Moscow-based law firm Chernyshov, Lukoyanov & Partners. According to RIA, the company’s case is that Netflix has “concluded a general contract with subscribers that does not provide for the possibility of unilateral refusal to fulfill obligations.” So they claim that Netflix’s suspension of the service infringes users’ rights and is a violation of the Civil Code of the Russian Federation as well as consumer rights laws.
The plaintiffs are seeking compensation of 60 million rubles (about $730 thousand) for non-pecuniary damages as well as a fine against Netflix equal to 50% of the amount awarded by the court. Further penalties can be imposed if Netflix loses the case and refuses to comply with compensation orders.
diverse I reached out to Netflix, Chernyshov, Lukoyanov, and Partners for comment.