Communications

United Kingdom

The communications sector is undergoing a fundamental and rapid evolution, with new digital companies accompanied by challenging long-standing business models, runaway technological development, convergence, disruption and significant change to the regulatory landscape. Deregulation in certain areas is going arm in arm with greater regulatory control in others, such as data breach, consumer privacy and merger.

In face of these challenges, communications businesses need to adapt, diversify into new business lines, and often to grow, whether organically or through acquisition. Additionally they need to understand and comply with the new regulatory requirements.

You need lawyers who understand your sector to tackle these challenges head-on, often on an international basis in this most international of businesses. This is where our international team of sector specialists come into play. We have over 200 experts, many with in-depth experience in the industry, across our 65 offices.

We support communications companies within all aspects of their operations, including acquisitions, data protection network sharing, pricing sales, operations, product development, regulatory compliance, licensing and distribution arrangements, and issues relating to cyber breaches and intellectual property protection.

Their geographic spread globally and in the UK is really useful and makes them quite unique.
Chambers UK, 2015

Our team frequently advises on complex or ground-breaking transactions or issues. In the past year alone, CMS has advised on M&A transactions in the sector with an aggregate value of over EUR 10bn.

Additionally, we advise mobile and fixed line operators on the complex issues around network sharing agreements, helping our clients to realise huge cost saving potential, as well as preparing their business and infrastructure for future technologies and investments.

We have advised on network sharing deals for clients in the UK, Belgium, Germany and several CEE countries, and have also advised on their feasibility in other European countries. This makes us one of the market leaders in that field.

Our dedication to achieving a commercial solution coupled with our understanding of your industry sector, means you can remain focused on your business.

Our Global Head of TMC, Chris Watson, is ranked in Band 1 in Chambers UK 2015 for Telecommunications.

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Law-Now: Com­mu­nic­a­tions
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22 March 2021
UK reg­u­lat­ors out­line roadmap for co­oper­a­tion in the reg­u­la­tion of di­git­al...
On 10 March 2021, the Di­git­al Reg­u­la­tion Co­oper­a­tion For­um (DRCF) pub­lished its first an­nu­al plan of work for 2021/2022 for co­oper­a­tion, co­ordin­a­tion and a co­her­ent reg­u­lat­ory ap­proach to di­git­al and...
26 February 2021
On­line harms reg­u­la­tion gains mo­mentum and shape
At the end of last year, the Gov­ern­ment pub­lished its long-awaited re­sponse to the con­sulta­tion on on­line harms. The re­sponse (the “Re­sponse”) (al­most) puts to bed nearly two years of spec­u­la­tion...
28 January 2021
Con­sulta­tion on Elec­tron­ic Com­mu­nic­a­tions Code
Sum­mary The UK Gov­ern­ment is con­sult­ing on changes to the Elec­tron­ic Com­mu­nic­a­tions Code in re­la­tion to ac­cess to land. This fol­lows reg­u­lar feed­back from vari­ous stake­hold­ers that the 2017 Code is not...
22 January 2021
Cla­ri­fy­ing the ter­rit­ori­al reach of the GDPR in data pro­tec­tion lit­ig­a­tion
On 15 Janu­ary 2021, judg­ment was handed down in the High Court by Mr Justice Jay in the case of Sori­anzo v (1) Forensic News LLC (2) Scott Sted­man (3) Eri Levai (4) Jess Cole­man (5) Robert De­nault and...
15 December 2020
Five years after Hua­wei ZTE FRAND li­cens­ing ob­lig­a­tions again be­fore the...
On 26 Novem­ber 2020, the Düs­sel­dorf Re­gion­al Court an­nounced that it would sus­pend a pat­ent in­fringe­ment pro­ceed­ing and refer key ques­tions on com­puls­ory li­cens­ing of stand­ard es­sen­tial pat­ents (SEP)...
07 December 2020
Top 5 take aways from re­cent fibre roll out fin­an­cing trans­ac­tions
The last three years have seen a large amount of activ­ity in the tele­coms in­fra­struc­ture mar­ket in the UK, boos­ted by the rise and en­ergy of al­tern­at­ive net­work pro­viders (the “alt­nets”). However...
24 November 2020
Schrems II: Re­sponses to the su­per­vis­ory au­thor­it­ies' as­sess­ment and re­com­mend­a­tions...
"Schrems II": Opin­ions of the su­per­vis­ory au­thor­it­ies on Schrems II and re­com­mend­a­tions on the im­ple­ment­a­tion of the judge­ment in in­ter­na­tion­al data trans­fers On 16 Ju­ly 2020, the Court of Justice of...
16 November 2020
Schrems II re­vis­ited: the European data au­thor­ity pub­lishes draft guid­ance...
On 11 Novem­ber 2020, the European Data Pro­tec­tion Board (EDPB) pub­lished two re­com­mend­a­tions that provide guid­ance to com­pan­ies on how to as­sess data trans­fers after the ECJ’s Schrems II de­cision:...
23 October 2020
What terms can be im­posed on site pro­viders un­der the Elec­tron­ic Com­mu­nic­a­tions...
Sum­mary The re­cent Up­per Tribunal de­cision, Corner­stone Tele­com­mu­nic­a­tions In­fra­struc­ture Lim­ited v Lon­don & Quad­rant Hous­ing Trust, is sig­ni­fic­ant in its de­tailed con­sid­er­a­tion of the terms to be in­cluded...
25 September 2020
Ter­min­at­ing agree­ments un­der the Elec­tron­ic Com­mu­nic­a­tions Code
Sum­mary The Up­per Tribunal provides guid­ance on the tim­ing of ser­vice of no­tices un­der the Elec­tron­ic Com­mu­nic­a­tions Code to ter­min­ate Code agree­ments and on whom they should be served. Case EE Lim­ited...
06 July 2020
The end of the be­gin­ning: the CMA’s con­clu­sions on On­line Plat­forms and...
The Com­pet­i­tion & Mar­kets Au­thor­ity (“CMA”) last week re­leased its fi­nal re­port out­lining its find­ings in its On­line Plat­forms and Di­git­al Ad­vert­ising Mar­ket Study. The CMA found that com­pet­i­tion...
24 June 2020
The UK ex­pands for­eign in­vest­ment con­trols
On 23 June 2020, the UK Gov­ern­ment in­tro­duced a new pub­lic in­terest ground on which it can in­ter­vene in mer­gers: to main­tain UK cap­ab­il­ity to com­bat and mit­ig­ate pub­lic health emer­gen­cies. The UK joins...