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

Tag Archives: antitrust

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 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

Posted in M&A

Negotiating M&A transactions in the COVID-19 era: considerations for navigating new opportunities in uncertain waters

As businesses around the world continue to adapt to new day-to-day realities and challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, priorities necessarily shift to near-term concerns. Nevertheless, times of significant disruption also give rise to new opportunities for both strategic buyers and financial sponsors. Whether in the form of distressed M&A, defensive M&A, or strategic combinations – many industries are expected to see rapid, significant change in the weeks and months ahead. Evaluating M&A opportunities in the world that will exist as economies around the globe find a way forward

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Technology Photo of Michele FarquharPhoto of Ashley HowlettPhoto of John CastlePhoto of Eugene Kim

2019 Winnik International TMT Forum: Media and Technology Convergence Panel

The 2019 Winnik International TMT Forum hosted by Hogan Lovells featured a panel discussion on technology and media convergence. Logan Breed, antitrust partner at Hogan Lovells, moderated the discussion as six thought leaders in media, technology, and competition law grappled with business and legal issues related to industry convergence. Panelists included Jeffrey Eisenach from NERA Economic Consulting, Richard Greenfield from BTIG, Gabrielle Kohlmeier from Verizon, Joshua Wexler from Pure Imagination Studios, and Hogan Lovells partners Falk Schoening (Brussels) and Sheri Jeffrey (Los Angeles). Recent Industry Trends and Developments Technology, media,

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband

Join Us for the 2019 Winnik International TMT Forum

Join us on Wednesday, April 3 for the Hogan Lovells Winnik International TMT Forum. Our annual event reviews new and exciting international developments across various technology, media, and telecommunications industries. This year’s program will feature a fireside chat with Makan Delrahim, Assistant Attorney General, Department of Justice, Antitrust Division and also a panel discussion on media and technology convergence and the divergence between the EU and U.S. Panelists will include: – Dr. Jeffrey Eisenach, Managing Director, NERA Economic Consulting – Richard Greenfield, Media & Technology Analyst, BTIG, LLC – Sheri Jeffrey, Partner,

Posted in Policy & Regulation

A changing landscape? What AT&T/Time Warner means for future deals

In one of the most significant antitrust cases in recent years, AT&T won the right to merge with Time Warner when Judge Richard Leon ruled in their favor yesterday. AT&T and Time Warner announced their merger in October 2016. The merging parties touted the synergies that they could achieve by combining AT&T’s distributional power with Time Warner’s unique content. After an extensive review of the merger, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a complaint to block the deal in the District Court of the District of Columbia on 20 November

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Technology Photo of Falk Schoening

OECD publishes issues paper on blockchain and competition law

Competition law questions are increasingly raised in the public debate about the blockchain technology. While there is yet to be any investigation in this field, the policy debate about applying competition law instruments to this disruptive, decentralised technology is heating up. The latest and probably most comprehensive approach to structuring the discussion comes from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). On 26 April 2018, the OECD’s Secretariat published an issues paper for the discussion on Blockchain and Competition to be held at a meeting of the OECD Competition

Posted in Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Sean Spivey

Telecom Convergence: Nirvana or Nightmare?

I’m currently watching a wonderful new show called “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” on Amazon Prime.  It’s a comedy about a recent divorcee in Manhattan in the early 1960s who decides to become a stand-up comedian.  As I’m watching the show my thoughts drift to the magnitude of difference between the fictitious Midge Maisel watching Bob Newhart on her 1960s-era television and my present day Sunday night viewing experience.

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Technology Photo of Falk Schoening

What blockchain can learn from the net neutrality debate: antitrust and regulatory aspects of “paid prioritization” for a nascent technology

First come, first served. That’s not the principle behind the clearance of Bitcoin transactions. Equally for other blockchain technology networks, the relevant factor to get a transaction on the next available block is not time, but often: money. “Paid prioritization” is a reality. Miners will first pick and clear those transactions which will most highly reward them. Is this a problem? Not necessarily. As long as users have plenty of alternatives in the fields of cryptocurrency or smart contracts they can just use different networks. However, in the medium or

Posted in Cybersecurity, Data Protection & Privacy

Former FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez Joins Hogan Lovells Privacy and Cybersecurity Practice

Hogan Lovells has announced that Edith Ramirez, the former Chairwoman of the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC), has joined the firm as a partner and will play an active role in Hogan Lovells’ Privacy and Cybersecurity practice. She will also co-head the firm’s Antitrust, Competition and Economic Regulation (ACER) practice. Ramirez will co-lead the global antitrust practice alongside Suyong Kim who is based in London. Ramirez will be based in Washington, DC and Los Angeles. Ramirez joined the FTC as a Commissioner in April 2010 and served as FTC Chairwoman from March 2013 to

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy, Internet, Policy & Regulation, Technology, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Julie BrillPhoto of Winston MaxwellPhoto of Michele Farquhar

Hogan Lovells academic all-stars debate hot tech topics

On 17 March Hogan Lovells hosted a live webinar where several of our Global TMT thought leaders interviewed a panel of academic experts from our Law and Technology Academic Advisory Council on the key legal and tech trends for 2017, including regulation of artificial intelligence, competition law and big data, global privacy and copyright trends, and the future of broadband privacy regulation. The panel was chaired by Hogan Lovells partner and former Commissioner of the US Federal Trade Commission, Julie Brill.

Posted in Digital Single Market (EU) Photo of Martin SuraPhoto of Christoph WünschmannPhoto of Falk SchoeningPhoto of Christian Ritz, LL.M. (USYD)

DSM Watch: Germany suggests ramping up regulation of Digital Platforms by establishing a “Digital Agency” with a robust antitrust mandate

Will Germany establish a “Digital Agency” to monitor compliance with competition law rules in digital markets? Will a German “Digital Antitrust Enforcer” become a role model for a European protectionist approach against American and Asian platform providers? The German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy seems to see a pressing need for regulation in digital markets. The White Paper “Digital Platforms”, published on the 20 March 2017, provides an outlook on possible forms of digital regulatory policy in Germany and potentially also in Europe. Of particular interest from a

Posted in Policy & Regulation Photo of Andy Huang

Chinese antitrust enforcer sanctions TV provider

On 7 June 2016, the Administration for Industry and Commerce (AIC) in Inner Mongolia held the Xilin Gol branch of the Inner Mongolia Radio and Television Network Group (Xilin Gol Radio and Television) to have violated the Anti-Monopoly Law (AML). Xilin Gol Radio and Television was ordered to stop its illegal conduct, had illegal gains in the amount of RMB 91,600 (around USD 13,700) confiscated, and was fined around RMB 100,000 (approximately USD 15,000). The case dates back to October 2015, when the Inner Mongolia AIC’s local bureau in Xilin

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Technology, Telecoms & Broadband

Joshua Gans, Hogan Lovells, discuss disruption with French academics and regulators

Joshua Gans presented his new book, “The Disruption Dilemma“, at a seminar organized jointly by Hogan Lovells, and the Innovation and Regulation Chair of Telecom ParisTech and the Ecole Polytechnique. Gans was joined in the debate by Nicolas Curien, Professor of Economics and Commissioner at France’s audiovisual regulatory authority (CSA), Eric Paroche, competition partner at Hogan Lovells, and Marc Bourreau, Professor of Economics at Telecom ParisTech. What is disruption, and what makes a firm “disruptive”? Gans describes why incumbent firms may not propose a new disruptive technology to its customers

Posted in Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Christopher ThomasPhoto of Logan BreedPhoto of Gianni De Stefano

Non-compete clauses in M&A transactions: the EU Telefónica/Portugal Telecom judgments and some best practices

A non-compete obligation which is imposed on the seller in the context of a M&A transaction can be permissible when it is ancillary to the transfer of the relevant business, that is, when it is directly related and necessary to the implementation of the deal.  In order to enjoy the fruits of the purchase of the transferred business, the buyer must be able to benefit from some protection against competition from the seller.  However, non-compete clauses only comply with antitrust/competition laws when their geographical scope, duration, subject matter and the

Posted in Data Protection & Privacy Photo of Eric ParochePhoto of Falk SchoeningPhoto of Martin SuraPhoto of Christoph WünschmannPhoto of Christian Ritz, LL.M. (USYD)

Big Data – Big Competition Issues? German and French antitrust regulators publish joint paper “Competition Law and Data”

Big data is no longer a term used only by the digital economy. Competition law agencies in Germany and France significantly ramp-up their enforcement tools in the light of technology-driven market changes. As regulators aim at being on par with market players dealing with big data, such companies need to carefully analyze whether the approach taken in the EU can affect any planned transactions or whether their business model contains any risks of being reviewed by the agencies. The German Bundeskartellamt (Federal Cartel Office or FCO) and the French Autorité

Posted in Policy & Regulation Photo of Falk SchoeningPhoto of Logan Breed

Antitrust regulators emphasize importance of innovation for merger control assessment – Commission considering revision of EU merger control thresholds

Antitrust regulators around the globe reinforce the importance of innovation for the assessment of mergers and acquisitions. The European Commission this month published a policy brief on the role of innovation in merger control within the European Union (EU) outlining the Commission’s approach to the assessment of innovation in the context of merger control. In addition, EU Commissioner Vestager in a speech on 18 April 2016, in line with previous announcements, signalled the Commission’s intention to re-examine its thresholds for notification with a view to enabling the Commission to examine

Posted in Internet, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Don McGownPhoto of Mark Jones

M&A Trends: Convergence or Consolidation in TMT?

2015 has seen a significant increase in M&A activity in the technology and telecom industries, driven by demand for the latest technology and the fastest internet connectivity. The highest numbers of M&A deals to date have been in the technology space, and together with telecom deals, their value reaches around $450 billion for this half year. These deals, whether public or private, do not come without risk, particularly in the antitrust and regulatory sphere.  Antitrust investigations, initiated by the authorities and competitors that have lost out in the M&A scramble,

Posted in Copyright, Internet, Policy & Regulation Photo of Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh

AdBlock Plus – Germany: First decision rendered

Recently, we reported on the series of adblocking lawsuits pending in Germany against Eyeo GmbH, the makers of AdBlock Plus. Yesterday, the District Court of Hamburg rendered the first decision in this highly controversial and avidly followed battle of several German media houses, among them Axel Springer, ProSiebenSat.1 and RTL subsidiaries. The court ruled in favor of the defendant Eyeo, deciding that its software AdBlock Plus did not constitute unfair competition. The claimants, Zeit Online and Handelsblatt, had asked the court to enjoin Eyeo from offering software that blocks publicly

Posted in Copyright Photo of Anthonia Ghalamkarizadeh

AdBlock Plus – German media houses want it stopped

Adblocking is an increasingly wide-spread phenomenon with huge impact on the online advertising industry. The best known and by far most popular adblocking tool is AdBlock Plus, marketed by the German company Eyeo GmbH. AdBlock Plus is among the most frequently downloaded browser add-ons worldwide, with over 144 million active users reported in 2014 (Source: Page Fair and Adobe 2014 report). AdBlock Plus allows Internet users to decide which advertising content they want to have appear on their screens. The software comes with a pre-selection of blacklisted and whitelisted websites

Posted in Internet, Policy & Regulation, Telecoms & Broadband Photo of Winston Maxwell

French court says peering link not “essential facility”

Cogent accused major European telecom operators of violating antitrust rules in their Internet peering and transit practices.  The European Commission is investigating, and launched dawn raids this summer.  Meanwhile, Cogent suffered a legal setback in France. On December 19, 2013, the Paris Court of Appeals denied Cogent’s antitrust claims against France Telecom. In 2012, Cogent sued France Télécom before the French competition authority, arguing (among other things) that France Télécom had abused its dominant position by requiring payment from Cogent in exchange for increasing direct peering capacity.  The French competition authority dismissed Cogent’s