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Global Media and Communications Watch

The International Legal Blog for the Tech, Media and Telecoms Industry

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Technology, Telecoms & Broadband

Election 2020 Snapshot: Helping our technology and telecom clients make sense of the U.S. election results

An overhaul of tech antirust policy? Increased telecommunications regulations coupled with expanding telecoms infrastructure? Business as usual for Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFUIS) investigations? We explore these questions and more in our analysis of the Biden administration’s potential approach to technology and telecommunications policy.

Click here to read more

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU), e-commerce, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Technology

Shaping Europe’s Digital Future – EU publishes its draft Digital Services Act

Awaited with bated breath by stakeholders in the online industry and by IP right holders alike, the EU Commission published on 15 December its official draft for the Digital Services Act (DSA). The DSA is conceived as one of the central pillars for its ambition to shape Europe’s digital future. Its published draft aims high, both in the scope of topics it covers, and the depth in which it addresses them. The DSA provides a staggered set of obligations and liability rules for all intermediaries (such as internet access providers, domain name registrars, search engines), for hosting services (such as cloud services and webhosting), for online platforms (such as social media platforms, app stores and online marketplaces), and for very large online platforms (those reaching more than 45 million EU users each month). In this article, we will walk you through the proposed changes and what they mean for platforms in particular. Continue Reading

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU), e-commerce, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Technology Photo of Christopher ThomasPhoto of Myrto TagaraPhoto of Alexandra Bray

DMA – a whole new world for large platform service providers?

On 15 December The European Commission published the long awaited Digital Markets Act proposal. The Proposed Regulation imposes a series of ex ante behavioural obligations on entities that the Commission designates as ‘gatekeepers’. The obligations for those designated platforms and the potential sanctions largely resemble behavioural remedies and fines that the European Commission might otherwise seek to impose under its competition law powers. The Commission’s enforcement action is expected to be intense, with ten on-site investigations per year and an additional 80 full time staff. Continue Reading

Posted in Artificial Intelligence, Policy & Regulation, Technology

Civil liability regime for artificial intelligence

On 20 October 2020, the European Parliament put forward detailed legislative proposals on a civil liability regime for artificial intelligence. The European Commission will consider the proposals and reports submitted by the European Parliament, with its legislative proposal on these matters being expected in early 2021.

Changes to EU Civil Liability Framework 

The proposal creates a two-fold liability regime consisting of “high-risk” AI systems and “other” AI systems. Common principles for operators of both high-risk and other AI-systems include:

  • Operators cannot escape liability on the grounds that the harm was caused by an autonomous activity, device or process driven by the AI system; and
  • Where multiple operators are involved, they should be jointly and severally liable, but each operator would have the right to recover part of the compensation from the other operators, in proportion to their liability, provided that the affected person was compensated in full.

For “high-risk” AI systems

  • An autonomously operating AI-system is considered high-risk where it has significant potential to cause harm or damage to one or more persons in a manner that is random and goes beyond what can reasonably be expected – so we expect this to include AI such as self-driving vehicles and autonomous robots.
  • Most significantly, operators of “high-risk” AI systems under this proposed Regulation would be strictly liable for any harm or damage caused by an activity, device or process driven by that AI system. Due diligence would not be a defence and any attempt to exclude liability in agreements with users would be void.
  • Under the proposal, claimants will be able to recover up to 2 million euros for death or personal injury, and up to 1 million euros for economic loss or damage to property.
  • Mandatory insurance would be required to be held by operators of high-risk AI technology – similar to that used for motor vehicles.
  • Claims will be subject to a special limitation period of 30 years in certain circumstances.

Other AI systems

  • Other AI systems would be subject to a fault-based liability regime. If the operator can establish that the AI system was activated without its knowledge (and that reasonable measures were taken to avoid this), or that due diligence was taken with regards to the AI system, the operator may be able to establish that it was not liable for the harm. Member States will be left to set the level of fines and limitation periods for these types of claims.

See the European Parliament’s resolution containing the legislative proposal here.

Posted in M&A, Technology Photo of Mark ParsonsPhoto of Tommy Liu

How to navigate data protection and cybersecurity issues in M&As in Asia-Pacific

In recent years, the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region has been a core hub of merger and acquisition (M&A) activity, emerging relatively unscathed from the COVID-19 pandemic which has otherwise taken a toll on investment activity in 2020. Despite global economic headwinds and growing geopolitical uncertainties, signs of recovery in APAC deal-making have begun to merge as ambitious investors in the region look for both shelter and new opportunities in a time of unprecedented challenges. As we move at a breakneck pace into the digital era, data becomes more of a critical component than ever in M&A transactions, both within the technology sector – where data can be an acquisition target’s most valuable asset – and outside it, as businesses across a wide range of sectors push forward with technology transformation initiatives and leverage technology to drive competitive advantage.

Click here to read more.

Posted in Policy & Regulation

Webinar: A bipartisan view of the 2020 election and its impact on U.S. / UK relations

Joe Biden has been elected as the 46th President of the United States.

A new presidency – coupled with a new relationship between the UK and the EU – presents the potential for a material change in U.S. domestic policy and relations with the UK.

How will these changes affect you and your business?

Join Hogan Lovells for a webinar on Wednesday 18 November 2020, as we share bipartisan views of the 2020 election results and what their influence could mean.

You will be able to submit questions during the webinar, but we also welcome them in advance. Please submit any questions for our speakers to louise.bray@hoganlovells.com 

Please note: The Chatham House Rule applies, and this event is closed to the press. 

Register today

When: 18 November, 10am-11am ET/2pm-3pm GMT

Moderator: Kelly Ann Shaw, Partner, Hogan Lovells


Posted in Policy & Regulation

A bipartisan view of the 2020 election and its impact on U.S. / EU relations

We invite you to join our webinar on the eve of the U.S. Presidential election.

Democratic nominee for President, Joe Biden, and Republican incumbent, President Donald Trump, are preparing foreign policy platforms in the final months of the 2020 election cycle. What are the major points of tension between the Republican and Democratic candidates? Should either party be elected? What would the U.S. policy towards Europe look like under each administration? Will U.S. trade and economic policies towards Europe see significant changes? How will U.S.-Europe relations change?

Join President Donald Trump’s former top G7 and trade adviser Kelly Ann Shaw, Senator Norm Coleman, Ivan Zapien and Prof. Jorrit Rijpma in this informative panel discussion on Monday 2
November at 15.00 CET/14.00 GMT as they share bipartisan views of the 2020 election and its impact on foreign policy.

You will be able to submit questions during the webinar, but we also welcome them in advance. Please submit any questions for our speakers to sandra.buitendam@hoganlovells.com

Click here to register for this webinar

With the U.S. election quickly approaching, anticipate the potential impacts, analyze the insights, and understand the implications of the evolving politcal landscape and its outcomes for global businesses and industry, by visiting our U.S. Election 2020 Topic Centre.

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy

Upcoming privacy and cybersecurity events – October

Please join us for our October 2020 events

October 21-23
Mark Brennan will be leading a panel at the virtual Fall Academy 2020 Privacy + Security Forum, where he will be joined by other seasoned experts for deep-dive sessions with practical takeaways.

October 22
Bret Cohen will be part of the recording for “We Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change: Stories of Data Protection in M&A”, an IAPP installment where speakers will discuss privacy, security, and risk. The recording will be made available online.

October 23
Tim Tobin and Bret Cohen will be joined by Jared Bomberg, Senior Counsel, U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation, and Olivia Trusty, Policy Director, U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science & Transportation, during the Prospects for Privacy Legislation session at the Privacy + Security Forum.

October 28
Tim Tobin will be speaking at the PrivacyConnect Finance & Insurance Industry Expert Panel, where they will discuss the latest privacy topics and trends within the Finance & Insurance industry.

October 29
Scott Loughlin will be speaking at the PrivacyConnect Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals Industry Expert Panel, where they will discuss the latest privacy topics and trends within the Healthcare & Pharmaceuticals industry.

Posted in Spectrum, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Trey Hanbury

Partner Trey Hanbury interviews T-Mobile’s Steve Sharkey

Hogan Lovells partner Trey Hanbury enjoyed a lively and frank conversation with Steve Sharkey, Vice President of Government Affairs, Engineering and Technology Policy at T-Mobile as part of the 2020 INCOMPAS Show. The interview covered T-Mobile’s running start on 5G broadband deployment following the company’s merger with Sprint, insight into T-Mobile’s plans for meeting its commitments under the merger agreement, and the outlook for 5G deployment in the US. INCOMPAS has made the entire interview available on video, and we offer a few highlights of the conversation here.

T-Mobile is now a U.S. leader in 5G

Sharkey said that T-Mobile is now likely the global leader in 5G deployment, as the first to deploy a standalone network that does not rely on LTE as a base layer. T-Mobile is building its 5G network with a layer cake of spectrum. T-Mobile’s 600 MHz spectrum holdings represent the base layer with 5G broadband coverage for more than 250 million people and across more than 1.3 million square miles in the United States. The next layer is the 2.5 GHz spectrum acquired in the Sprint merger, which boosts the speed and capacity of the network. Millimeter wave spectrum represents the third layer and offers greatly enhanced capacity in more densely populated areas of the country.

To maintain its leadership, Sharkey said T-Mobile will continue to rely on its technological expertise, history of prioritizing strong infrastructure, and fast rollout of 5G services. Sharkey also emphasized the importance of T-Mobile’s customer-service philosophy. He noted that T-Mobile is now the second largest carrier in the US, which he credited not only to the Sprint merger, but also to organic growth driven by T-Mobile’s success at continually identifying and addressing customer pain points.

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Posted in Internet of Things, Policy & Regulation

Webinar – IoT in the EU: Lessons from COVID-19, and next steps for liability and regulation

Connected products remain in focus during 2020. Now more than ever before, they bring new opportunities to our homes, work, travel, and health care.

Date: 15 September 3:30-4:15 BST

In this webinar our leading cross-border products law team discuss the following:

  • How IoT products have been helping tackle the COVID-19 crisis: a call out from a number of jurisdictions.
  • Some areas of IoT law and regulation that need further development – as highlighted by the COVID-19 crisis.
  • A quick catch-up on product liability developments in the European Union and the relevance to IoT.
  • Getting new IoT products on the European Union market: quick overview of developing product safety and regulation in this space.
  • An update on the European Commission’s antitrust inquiry into IoT consumer-related products and services within the EU, and its implications for affected IoT companies.


  • Questions can be sent in advance and we will address if possible during our session.

Hogan Lovells speakers:

To register for this webinar, please click here.