Russians are suing Netflix after it pulled out of the country over the invasion of Ukraine

Netflix on iPhone X
Netflix on iPhone X (Image credit: iMore)

What you need to know

  • A Russian class-action lawsuit has been filed against Netflix, according to reports.
  • More than 20 Russians believe that Netflix broke a public contract when it pulled out of the country.
  • Netflix removed its service from Russia following the invasion of Ukraine.

A group of Russian Netflix subscribers has reportedly filed a class-action lawsuit over the company's decision to remove its service from the country. Netflix made the move in response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine last month.

With Netflix no longer available in the country, Variety and Russian media outlet RIA say that 20 people have filed suit already with around a hundred more waiting in the wings.

Netflix was already on a collision course with Russia after it refused to carry state TV channels as required by local law. Now, plaintiffs say that Netflix entered into a public contract with its users by offering service — a contract that it has now broken.

The plaintiffs are being represented by Moscow-based lawfirm Chernyshov, Lukoyanov and Partners. According to RIA, the firm's case is that Netflix "entered into a public contract with subscribers that does not provide for the possibility of unilateral refusal to fulfil obligations." They therefore claim that Netflix's suspension of service violates users' rights and constitutes a violation of the Russian Federation's civil code as well as consumer rights laws.

The plaintiffs want 60 million rubles (around $730,000) in compensation as well as a fine for the streaming company. Whether any of this will actually happen remains to be seen, but that isn't going to stop a number of Russian Netflix fans from trying it.

Netflix is far from the only company to have pulled out of Russia recently. PayPal has also suspended service while Apple has ceased all sales in the country.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.