On Tuesday 14 November the Hogan Lovells DSM Taskforce (our dedicated pan-EU team of lawyers tracking the Commission’s DSM strategy) had its annual live meeting in Brussels to discuss the progress of the implementation of the DSM strategy and key forthcoming developments. The team held a webinar on the status of the strategy and what to expect in 2018 in … Continue Reading
The corrosive effects of rising nationalism and the sheer complexity of conducting business on a global scale has made leading tech executives concerned about their companies’ ability to trade freely and secure the regulatory and other government approvals they need to compete successfully. These and other issues surfaced during a candid hour-long discussion between Hogan Lovells’ counsel Tom Sugrue and … Continue Reading
Businesses may often use peer-to-peer (“P2P“) telemarketing calls involving interpersonal communication to promote goods and services directly to customers. While such calls may be effective in some cases, they appear to be not so welcomed by customers in Hong Kong. A 2015 government consultancy study in Hong Kong reports that an overwhelming 96% of call recipients considered such … Continue Reading
The new EU Radio Equipment Directive 2014/53/EC (“RED”) applies to all radio equipment, such as products with mobile communication, Bluetooth or WiFi. It is replacing the former EU Directive on Radio and Telecommunication Terminal Equipment 1999/5/EC (“R&TTE Directive”).
RED has been applicable since 13 June 2016 but provided a one-year transitional period, during which companies were allowed to continue placing … Continue Reading
The Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) Media Relations Office has released a statement announcing Chairman Pai’s intention to stay a data security rule adopted by the Commission late last year in its Broadband Privacy Order. Absent a stay, the rule is set to go into effect on March 2.
The data security rule at issue states in its entirety:
Your recent book “The Disruption Dilemma” examines how disruption can destroy even the best managed corporations. The case studies in your book – the mobile phone industry disrupted by Apple, Blockbuster’s store-based video business disrupted Netflix – show that disruption is not a single phenomenon, and that there’s no single strategy for dealing with it. The case studies involving Fujifilm … Continue Reading
Maintaining a global supply chain brings its share of commercial, financial, and regulatory risks. Increasingly, telecommunications companies with global operations and suppliers are finding that U.S. trade control laws affect their operations. For instance, telecommunications companies can inadvertently breach export control or economic sanctions laws when critical suppliers are designated on U.S. or non-U.S. government restricted parties lists, engage in … Continue Reading
At the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC)’s annual stakeholder forum in Brussels, bundling in the telecom sector came under the spotlight, and in particular some questions were aimed at whether “bundled” offers were legal.
On the occasion of the BEREC forum, we thought it useful to revisit European rules on bundling which are relevant both from a … Continue Reading
Ofcom’s announcement of plans to make Openreach a “legally separate” company within BT have been met with muted cheers from some in the telecoms world, while others caution that the proposals do not go far enough to ensure the UK gets the investment it needs.
In February of this year, the regulator set out a ten-year vision for ensuring the … Continue Reading
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 … Continue Reading
In a major victory for the Federal Communications Commission’s democratic majority, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upheld the FCC’s 2015 Open Internet Order on June 14, 2016. The 2-1 decision by the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals likely is not the last word on net neutrality because broadband service providers will very likely pursue rehearing from … Continue Reading
Regulators in the European Union and United States are racing to rewrite telecom rules for a host of new technologies ranging from over-the-top voice to ultra high-speed wireless broadband. But does the regulatory mantra of “new rules for new times” represent the foundation of the new digital economy or its undoing?
Are regulations mandating an open internet the key to … Continue Reading
On May 10, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) released its Memorandum Opinion and Order approving Charter Communications Inc.’s (“Charter”) acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc. The merged entity, called “New Charter,” will be the second-largest broadband provider with 19.4 million users, and the third-largest cable television provider with 17.4 million customers. The approval of the merger, however, did not … Continue Reading
On April 4, 2016, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in collaboration with the Consumer Financial Protraction Bureau, unveiled standardized consumer broadband labels that will list information about the price and performance of fixed and mobile broadband service. While the FCC will not require broadband providers to adopt the broadband labels, the FCC explained that the labels will provide a safe … Continue Reading
On 12 April 2016, the European Commission launched a public consultation (the “Consultation“) on the ePrivacy Directive (2002/58/EC; the “epD“). Interested parties who wish to participate have until 5 July 2016 to submit responses to the Commission’s 33 questions.
The Consultation marks the next step in European data protection reform, arriving shortly after policymakers finally completed … Continue Reading
This week’s intervention by the Competition and Markets Authority in the ongoing, hard-fought review of CK Hutchison’s bid for O2 UK supports the views already expressed by the EU competition commissioner and reflects a closeness of interaction between European regulators. But this closeness could disappear if the UK votes to leave the EU in June.
The review of the deal… Continue Reading
On 28 December 2015, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (“MIIT”), China’s telecoms and Internet regulator, issued the revised Classification Catalogue of Telecommunications Businesses (2015 Edition) (the “2015 Catalogue“). The long-awaited 2015 Catalogue will come into effect on 1 March 2016. A draft which included some of the main changes to the 2015 Catalogue was … Continue Reading
As in the U.S. and other European countries, the Mexican telecommunications and broadcasting market has been very active in M&A deals. Just over two years ago, a major constitutional reform in telecommunications entered into force and the new law is reaching its first anniversary. This new regulatory framework has lifted many entry barriers, including removing the 49% restriction of foreign … Continue Reading
Comcast’s failed acquisition of Time Warner Cable (“TWC”) presents a lesson in the types of antitrust harms that merger enforcers in the United States are willing to pursue.
Using traditional “horizontal” merger analysis, the combination would have resulted in almost no reduction of head-to-head competition, as there were very few geographic areas in which the two companies were head-to-head rivals. … Continue Reading
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 … Continue Reading
In a Statement and Consultation published on 26 May 2015, Ofcom, the UK telecoms regulator, published updated plans on the release of spectrum in the 2.3 and 3.4 GHz spectrum bands and it opened a consultation on options for proceeding with the award in light of potential changes in the mobile market in the UK.
The 2.3 and 3.4 GHz … Continue Reading
A few weeks ago, we reported on the decision of the Hamburg District Court in the ongoing adblocking litigation concerning the software AdBlock Plus of Eyeo GmbH. Yesterday, the District Court of Munich followed suit, dismissing all claims brought by subsidiaries of RTL und ProSiebenSat.1 Digital. The judges found that the relationship between Eyeo’s business and that of the media … Continue Reading
As reported in the press last week, the rise of adblocking appears to be spreading (read our earlier reports here and here). On 14 May, the Financial Times reported that a number of mobile operators are currently developing plans to block advertising on their networks. One unnamed European wireless carrier told the Financial Times that it plans to roll … Continue Reading
On 6 May 2015, the European Commission published its Digital Single Market Strategy for Europe. The Strategy sets out a total of 16 initiatives under 3 pillars which lay the groundwork for Europe’s digital future.