Over the last year we have seen increasing interest from our global client base in investing in strategic, transformational technology transactions with European counterparties.  These transactions often facilitate access to key technologies, geographies and, of course, data.  In this note we set out 6 key points to keep in mind when planning, negotiating and executing these types of transactions across Europe.

Continue Reading Strategic Technology Transactions in Europe – Considerations for U.S. and Global Companies

Yesterday, the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) unanimously adopted an order formalizing the referral and review process associated with “Team Telecom”—the group of national security and law enforcement agencies responsible for assessing foreign investment in U.S. telecommunications, submarine cable licensees, and broadcast licensees. The order adopts rules and procedures that will govern what has long been an informal process at the agency, both in connection with the issuance of such licenses and with respect to transfers of control.

The FCC’s action is consistent with the agency’s increased focus on, and involvement in, questions around national security and foreign investment in the telecommunications and media sectors. This attention to national security at the FCC is likely to continue regardless of the outcome of the election in November, given that both Republicans and Democrats at the agency have supported the agency’s heightened role in national security matters under its jurisdiction.


Continue Reading FCC Formalizes Foreign Investment Reviews; More National Security Actions Likely to Follow

Last week, the Federal Communications Commission circulated a draft order that will formalize its coordination with what has been known as “Team Telecom”—the national security review process for foreign investments in U.S. telecommunications companies.  The draft order, which the FCC will consider for adoption at its September 30 Open Meeting, includes rules and procedures governing what has long been an informal process.

The FCC’s draft order adopts rules consistent with an April 4, 2020 Executive Order that rebranded the group of executive branch authorities long referred to as “Team Telecom” as the Committee for the Assessment of Foreign Participation in the United States Telecommunications Services Sector.  Despite the name change, Team Telecom will largely follow the existing review process; however, the new FCC rules do make a few key changes.  We highlight some of the basic changes below.


Continue Reading FCC Releases Draft Order Formalizing “Team Telecom” Process

On Friday, a coalition of national broadcast networks, radio and television station licensees, and community and consumer organizations filed a letter asking the Federal Communications Commission to clarify that it will no longer employ a presumptive ban on foreign investment above 25% in the parent companies of broadcast licensees.  The Coalition for Broadcast Investment (the “Coalition”), which includes CBS, Disney, and such public interest organizations as the Minority & Media Telecommunications Council and the Latinos in Information Science and Technology Association, asked the FCC instead to consider on a case-by-case basis whether such a transaction is consistent with the public interest.  The filing was reported on by Politico (subscription required), Multichannel News, and TVNewsCheck, among others.

The FCC has historically exercised its discretion to consider, and in many instances to allow, indirect foreign investment above the statutory benchmark in wireless common carriers, which are governed by the same statute.  At the same time, the Commission has employed an irrebuttable presumption against equivalent investment in the broadcast context.  The Coalition argues that this policy is inequitable, particularly when the FCC has liberalized foreign investment policies toward common carriers ― urging that broadcasters have the same ability to seek capital from foreign investment as other industry participants already have under the law. 
Continue Reading Broadcasters, Public Interest Groups Urge FCC to Consider Increased Foreign Investment