Locke Lord’s media and telecommunications attorneys understand the convergence of traditional media and telecommunications in today’s fast-changing multimedia environment. We have a competitive edge when it comes to counseling major wireless telecommunications and traditional media companies.
Few firms have our extensive, across-the-board experience in mergers and acquisitions, finance, regulatory, intellectual property, general commercial, labor and employment, litigation, and real estate counsel. We collaborate with our Locke Lord colleagues in ERISA, tax, labor and employment, intellectual property and real estate to assure clients the best counsel available.
Our substantial transaction experience in acquiring and disposing of media properties and assets includes a focus in the buying and selling of television stations, newspapers and radio stations. Our attorneys have developed a strong and loyal network of clients, many of whom consider us part of their companies.
We are leaders in the deregulation of the telecommunications industry. Our attorneys handle all phases of the deregulated market, performing work for wireline and wireless companies as well as transactional and litigation matters. We have a strong background in technology and software licensing and have handled cases regarding cellular towers and equipment manufacturing.
We have served major newspaper clients for nearly a century in some of the biggest U.S. markets. We also represent many other publicly traded and privately held companies providing satellite, broadcast, competitive long distance and local exchange services, Internet service providers and software companies specializing in products for the telecommunications industry.
Our media and telecommunications lawyers have been leaders in the Texas Public Utilities Commission and the Office of Texas Attorney General, the American Bar Association (Science and Technology Committee) and the State Bar of Texas. Team members are listed in Who’s Who in America and The Best Lawyers in America and are certified by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization in such areas as administrative, consumer and employment law.
Corporate and Securities/Finance
Company growth in the quick-changing multimedia industry demands innovative and reliable strategies for corporate and financial decisions. Locke Lord’s media and telecommunications attorneys routinely handle the structuring and formation of numerous business entities for telecommunication ventures, including corporations, LLC’s, partnerships and joint ventures.
We understand the tax aspects, control issues and risk management involved in these transactions and have counseled on numerous public and private debt and equity offerings for media and telecom companies, including Initial Public Offerings (IPO) and venture capital investments.
We are experienced in negotiating and drafting a broad range of contracts for media and telecom companies.
Our attorneys prepare and negotiate network services, interconnection, billing and collection, factoring, advertising, equipment, tower, office and studio leases, vendor, software, consulting, sales representative and employment agreements, and confidentiality, non-disclosure and non-competition agreements. We advised one of the first major operators of private satellite television networks on network, subscription and installation agreements, satellite uplinking and microwave transmission agreements, satellite transponder and space segment leases.
For media clients, especially newspapers, we have handled financial and technology matters, environmental issues, legislative initiatives, employee benefits and disputes, real estate and collection matters. From handling an IPO for a national Internet access company to drafting and negotiating contracts to buy newspaper printing presses and television studio equipment, our corporate & securities and financial accomplishments for media and telecommunications clients are extensive. Litigation
Our media and telecommunications attorneys provide sensible and cost-effective solutions to our telecom and media clients. We defend newspapers against libel suits, government restrictions and restraint of trade allegations. Our caseload for media and telecommunications clients is extensive and comprehensive.
We have represented telecommunications companies in cases alleging tortious interference, breach of contract, conspiracy and other types of tort and contract claims. Such cases frequently involve state and federal regulatory issues, as well as a variety of technical points relating to the industry. Locke Lord succeeds in these cases because of our attorneys’ thorough understanding of the most recent technology, how it is used and what technological trends will dictate the development of the telecommunications industry in the future.
We played a key role in precedent-setting and closely watched litigation involving a major telecommunication company’s attempts to use its eminent domain powers to condemn the spaces in office buildings through which our client’s cables pass and where its equipment is stored. We provide antitrust counseling to wireless telecommunications companies on various issues, including distributorship contracts, pricing programs and joint site acquisitions. Regulation and Deregulation
Locke Lord attorneys have detailed working knowledge of the extraordinarily complex regulatory environment of the telecommunications industry on the state and federal level. We understand the business and government nuances of regulation and deregulation and have a string of cases won on behalf of our clients. Through our affiliate, Locke Lord Strategies, in Washington, D.C., we are able to monitor changes to legislation in Congress that could adversely affect the way our clients do business.
Today in telecommunications, virtually every move – from tower siting to newspaper sweepstakes contests – is governed by its own network of interlocking (and sometimes contradictory) federal regulations. We understand these regulated environments, particularly the deregulated operation of the telecommunications industry.
For more than a decade, we have served as Texas regulatory counsel to the second largest U.S. interexchange carrier. The experience we gained in the post-divestiture era of the 1980s - representation in agency actions regulating access charges and reseller credits - provides a solid foundation for the local exchange competition now taking place and the emerging long distance competition unfolding in other countries, including Mexico.
Our regulatory counsel in this environment is extensive, ranging from monitoring developments at the FCC to legislative developments in state governments around the country. We are skilled in telecom right-of-access issues involving landlord/tenant relationships and provider access to buildings. We have also published articles on the impact of mandatory access provisions on the owners of multi-tenant properties and drafted telecommunications license agreements for a variety of office building owners, including insurance companies and one of the largest pension funds in Texas. These agreements govern the right of telecommunications service providers to access buildings under the FTA and amendments to the Texas Public Utility Regulatory Act.
We work with municipalities throughout Texas as they attempt to develop or enforce tower siting ordinances and have substantial experience with FTA restrictions in this area. We have effectively worked with (and against) municipalities to encourage them to take more reasonable approaches in new ordinances affecting tower siting, and we have challenged municipalities over permit denials.
Our attorneys developed and now monitor legislation affecting wireless facilities’ siting, the taxation of wireless facilities and operational restrictions affecting wireless companies. We were an active part of the group that assured that wireless facilities were exempted from the municipal franchise fee bill. We also lobbied for an amendment exempting wireless facilities’ siting from a bill affecting land development. Intellectual Property
Locke Lord’s media and telecommunications team has in-depth knowledge of intellectual property law and industry standards, and our experience with telecommunications patents and newspaper copyrights is extensive. We know how to help clients obtain enforceable patents, trademarks and copyrights, and license technologies from and to other companies.
As the law of software and other multimedia products continues to evolve, we are on top of the patent issues that apply to the computer software and equipment applications our clients use. Our patent lawyers are admitted to practice before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, and our experience covers a wide range of legal issues. Mergers and Acquisitions
Locke Lord attorneys have negotiated and completed many telecom and media mergers and acquisitions. In an industry full of roller-coaster changes and complex rules and regulations, our experience helps clients complete these transactions.
Mergers and acquisitions require accurate and sound advice and counseling on specific corporate, securities, tax, real estate, employment and environmental issues. Many transactions are cross-border, and we work closely with legal counsel in foreign countries, including Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Chile, Brazil, Costa Rica, Guatemala and Australia.
Our attorneys handle transaction matters and cases of the media and telecommunications industry.
Our cell tower experience includes:
Our corporate & securities/finance experience includes these examples:
The following cases show the breadth of our experience:
There are also examples of Locke Lord’s state regulatory work for telecommunications and media companies:
In the realm of intellectual property, Locke Lord has handled numerous cases for media and telecommunications clients:
Locke Lord has an excellent reputation for its know-how in mergers and acquisitions in the media and telecommunications industry. We handled the following examples:
FCC’s Attempt to Expand TCPA is Wrong – Law360
Locke Lord Advising New Vision Television in Approximately $330 Million Transaction to Sell Local Broadcast Stations to LIN Television Corporation
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