Telecommunications

  • Our telecommunications team combines telecoms experts with competition, data protection, corporate, information management, intellectual property, finance and commercial specialists, in order to cover all legal aspects of the telecoms arena.  By translating our expertise into high quality, practical and commercial advice we help our clients to maintain their key roles in the marketplace. Our work in the field has been recognised by the legal directories where the Legal 500 has ranked us in the top tier for telecommunications and has described the team as being "the best for service and professionalism".

     

    Our clients include multinational telecommunications companies, mobile phone manufacturers, mobile phone operators, satellite operators, network operators, cable franchisees, internet content providers, internet service providers, newspapers and the institutions that finance and invest in telecommunications activities.

     

    We advise on the full range of issues in the sector, from regulatory and commercial to mergers and acquisitions. Our expertise includes:

     

    • Representing clients before Israeli regulatory authorities and negotiating operating, control and pledge permits and licences from the Ministry of Communications and other regulatory agencies
    • Advising on the financing of the construction and operation of mobile phone operators, broadcasters, satellite operators and the operators of submarine cable telecommunications systems
    • Advising on intellectual property, competition law and other regulatory issues specific to the industry
    • Acting on mergers and acquisitions of companies engaged in the telecommunications sector, including handling both the corporate aspects and all associated regulatory approvals
    • Advising on joint ventures and strategic alliances with telecommunications companies, handling both the corporate aspects and the associated regulatory approvals
    • Data protection and privacy issues
    • Obtaining permits for the export of encryption technology and other dual use technology that would otherwise be unlawful under Israel's implementation of the Wassenaar Arrangement



    • Representing Yediot Aharonot, Israel's largest telecommunications and media company, in connection with all telecommunication regulatory and corporate matters. Examples of significant matters include:

     

    (i) the acquisition of the children's interactive virtual world internet web site "Mikmak";

    (ii) the setting up of a new sports internet portal known as "One" which ties in with the its cable channel of the same name;

    (iii) establishing a new cable and satellite channel called "ONE -HD"; our work in this field included obtaining all the necessary licences from the Telecommunications Ministry and the Cable Channel Council for the commencement of broadcasting; and

    (iv) the acquisition of the control (approximately 78%) of Alljobs.co.il Ltd. – the company that owns the largest Israeli internet job search engine and portal

     

    • Representing Space Communication Ltd., Israel's only private satellite operator, on all the legal and regulatory aspects relating to the development, design, construction, insurance and launch of Amos-6, a new satellite to be launched in 2015, at a project cost of USD 350 million, including securing approximately USD 300 million of financing from credit export agencies, negotiating the launch contract and major services contracts with direct satellite broadcasters and obtaining regulatory permits from the Israeli Government
    • Representing the lenders on the financing of the construction and operation by Tamares Telecommunications Ltd. of an international undersea network of cables linking Israel to major telecommunications centres in Marseille, Paris, Madrid, Frankfurt, and London
    • Representing HOT, against Netvision before the Israeli Supreme Court in the matter the Ministry of Communication’s request to grant ISP licensing rights to HOT
    • Representing a number of radio stations on regulatory and licensing matters before the Israeli Second Authority for Television and Radio, including, for example, Radio 100fm and Radius fm
    • Representing Reshet-Noga (one of Israel's two franchisees of Channel 2 – Israel's main commercial "free to air" TV channels) with regard to all telecommunication regulatory and corporate matters. Examples of significant matters include:

     

    (i) all regulatory and telecommunication issues arising from its successful bid for one of the Channel 2 terrestrial television franchises;

    (ii) the establishment of a new cable and satellite channel called "Abla Meditation – Channel 25", including obtaining all the necessary licences from the Telecommunications Ministry and the Cable Channel Council for the commencement of broadcasting;

    (iii) a co-development agreement and production partnership with British television broadcaster ITV plc to set up a new venture to jointly source, develop and produce TV show formats in Israel for the Reshet network, the ITV network in the UK and the international market;

    (iv) proceedings before the Restrictive Trade Practices Tribunal objecting, on competition law grounds, to the formation of a new royalty collection society for directors and scriptwriters on the basis that the proposed rules constitute restrictive arrangements;

    (v) Reshet-Noga's objection to the petition to the Israel Supreme Court instituted by the Israel Union of Scriptwriters - the Union is seeking judicial review of a proposed amendment to the law that would reduce the minimum percentage of Israeli TV production content broadcast by Channel 2 (Israel's main "free" commercial broadcaster) in Israel; 

    (vi) proceedings commenced against the TV Channel by the NGO, Movement For the Quality in Government. We successfully acted for the client in these proceedings which sought to restrain the channel from appointing a well known local celebrity to the panel of the "X-Factor" on the grounds that he was subject to tax evasion investigations;

    (vii) format rights for movie production agreements, content distribution agreements (for both traditional and new media), agreements with copyright administrators and co-operation agreements with international entertainment agencies (such as CAA); and

    (viii) acting for Reshet in proceedings for the establishment of Channel HD for its broadcasts on Channel 2

     

    • Representing AT&T on its acquisition of Interwise, a software teleconference company, and all regulatory matters relating to such acquisition
    • Representing the lenders on the USD 700 million financing of the Partner Communications Ltd. (one of Israel's leading mobile phone companies)
    • Representing Cellcom and Pelephone on various intellectual property related matters
    • Representing One HD (a new sports cable TV) against the Sports Channel before the Cable and Satellite TV Channel Council on the packages and rates that can be set for subscribers for such channels from the two main providers of cable programming in Israel
    • Representing NBC Europe and MTV with regard to telecommunications regulatory matters in Israel
    • The European Legal 500, 2015 describes the team that S. Horowitz & Co fields as "a superb team of lawyers"

    • The European Legal 500, 2011 states that the team is "the best for service and professionalism"