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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Jan 2018
Net­work Shar­ing 3.0
CMS is de­lighted to be present­ing this third edi­tion of its study on the shar­ing of tele­com­mu­nic­a­tion net­works in the EU and se­lec­ted ter­rit­or­ies around the world. Down­load here!
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...
11 August 2016
Trans­mit: The latest reg­u­lat­ory de­vel­op­ments in the com­mu­nic­a­tions, me­dia...
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...
16/11/2015
CMS ad­vises Vi­a­tel on the sale of its in­fra­struc­ture busi­ness to Za­yo Group
CMS has ad­vised ma­jor tele­coms op­er­at­or Vi­a­tel on its agree­ment to sell its non-Ir­ish fibre and op­tic­al wavelengths busi­ness to Za­yo Group, a glob­al pro­vider of band­width in­fra­struc­ture and net­work-neut­ral coloca­tion and con­nectiv­ity ser­vices. The en­ter­pr
09 June 2020
The Law Com­mis­sion’s State­ment of Law: Ex­e­cu­tion with an elec­tron­ic sig­na­ture...
The COV­ID-19 pan­dem­ic has made the in-per­son sign­ing of deeds and doc­u­ments im­prac­tic­al and cre­ated a na­tion of ‘re­mote’ work­ers. Mer­cury-com­pli­ant ‘vir­tu­al sign­ings’ (where the sig­na­ture page...
06/11/2015
Im­plic­a­tions of a Di­git­al Single Mar­ket
A con­fer­ence re­port
12 May 2020
Loc­a­tion apps in the time of COV­ID-19
Con­tact tra­cing and loc­a­tion data-based ap­plic­a­tions have re­cently be­come the sub­ject of the heated de­bates in view of their wide­spread use in the fight against the COV­ID-19 pan­dem­ic. In re­sponse to...
25/07/2014
Trans­mit - Ju­ly 2014
28 April 2020
Green light for UK tower con­sol­id­a­tion
On 22 April 2020, the UK Com­pet­i­tion and Mar­kets Au­thor­ity (CMA) cleared Cell­nex’s ac­quis­i­tion of Ar­qiva’s UK tele­coms in­fra­struc­ture busi­ness.  Cell­nex, which cur­rently has a small share of the...
20/03/2014
Good News in the Budget for UK-based Satel­lite Op­er­at­ors
Yes­ter­day’s Budget (19 March 2014) an­nounced that the Gov­ern­ment will le­gis­late to ex­empt space satel­lite in­sur­ance from the oner­ous and an­ti­com­pet­it­ive in­sur­ance premi­um tax (IPT). This is ex­cel­lent news for UK-based satel­lite op­er­at­ors who have had to p
24 April 2020
New CJEU rul­ing cla­ri­fies the ‘com­mu­nic­a­tion to the pub­lic’ pro­vi­sions...
In a much-an­ti­cip­ated de­cision, the Court of Justice of the European Uni­on (‘CJEU’) con­clus­ively de­term­ined that the activ­it­ies of car-leas­ing com­pan­ies of­fer­ing vehicles fit­ted with ra­dio equip­ment...