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TMT

With the Technology, Media and Telecoms (TMT) landscape changing rapidly, it is vital we help our clients to keep pace with the emerging technologies redefining the world and regulatory frameworks we operate in.

Using new technological tools and processes to improve the organization of enterprises, developing and marketing IT services, implementing new interactive sales models and communications tools with customers, companies need a well-experienced and pragmatic team of lawyers to rely on.

Eversheds Sutherland’s Italian team has created an internal TMT sector team in order to provide clients with a full-function holistic assistance in the technology, media and telecoms sectors.

We are perfectly aware of how profoundly and how rapidly each of such sectors has changed in the last few years, with the intervention of new actors and products (such as AI, blockchain and cryptocurrencies) and with the spread of new disruptive communications’ technologies and infrastructures (such as 5G). Our aim is to offer our best knowledge and outstanding legal services to help our clients comply with every applicable and future piece of regulation, keeping up with consumers’ and business clients’ demands’ and needs.

The professionals of the team can bring to the table a variety of backgrounds and experiences, including specific expertise in the pay-tv, OTT sectors and film industry. Our partners and colleagues have been recognized among the most prominent professionals of the telecoms and media sector by prestigious national Legal Directorates.

We understand the sector-specific challenges and issues TMT companies face, and the complex cross-border legal and regulatory issues involved in international activity.

Technology

In order to meet the new needs of our clients, the offer of legal advice and assistance services of the Italian team of Eversheds Sutherland has consequently been restructured and innovated in an integrated and dynamic way, so as to be able to support our clients in the management of legal issues related to new business processes.

In particular, we have created a team, which harmonizes the different skills of the professionals involved to offer a truly multidisciplinary service.

In compliance with the regulatory framework, we are constantly engaged in exploring the impact of new technologies on business and we work alongside our clients to support the achievement of their business objectives in a constantly changing, innovative and increasingly competitive landscape.

Our team proposes to suppliers, operators and clients of the Information Technology market an integrated and qualified offer of professionalism, skills and years of experience in the field.

The professional services we offer include consulting and assistance in software licensing, maintenance and development, assistance and "service" contracts, system integration and outsourcing contracts, public and private contracts for the supply and management of software, platforms, databases and IT services, cloud computing, e-commerce, electronic signatures, digital archiving and electronic invoicing.

Our experience also includes the management of issues and criticalities, such as those concerning embedded software licenses, migration plan management, negotiation with public bodies and administrations, general license conditions of open source software, escrow contracts for source code management, contracts for SaaS and other cloud computing services, and the study of new issues related to block chain and smart contracts.

Our professionals also offer a high level of competence and professionalism for the assistance in litigation in this field before any court, as well as for training and regulatory updates.

Media

In November 2018, the European Parliament and Council issued the New Audiovisual Media Services Directive 1808/2018/EU, in view of changing market realities. The AVMS Directive has not yet been implemented by the Italian Government.

Therefore, in the very next future the Italian legal framework is expected to considerably change in several areas such as regulation of non-linear services; advertisement crowding; promotion and distribution of European works (contents).

The three main institutional bodies involved in the policymaking actions and regulation are the Italian Communications Authority (AGCOM), the Ministry of Economic Development and the Ministry of Culture.

Thanks to a deep knowledge of the technological and business aspects of the market, our team guarantees an immediate understanding of the legal issues of emerging technologies and new media with respect to content, services and broadcasting capability.

Members of our team have been dealing for decades with almost every matter related to communication and broadcasting: satellite TV, digital terrestrial TV, transactional television, multi-platform and interactive contents, product placement and new forms of advertising, edutech (distance learning platforms and contents) and edutainment, online gaming etc.

We have a valuable experience in the movie and audio-visual and entertainment industry, counselling producers, distributors actors and talents in all the phases of the production and distribution of movies or footages. Our expertise encompasses development, option, production and pre-production, distribution, management, digital licensing, advertising and merchandising, product placement and post production agreements. We assist our clients in international co-productions and in the application for movie public funding.

We are also active in the traditional publishing industry, providing wide assistance to some of the most important Italian publishers.

Telecommunications

Electronic communications’ operators active in one or more EU jurisdictions in the fix and in the mobile sector are subject to a variety of relevant regulations, both at the EU and at national levels. This appears to be the case especially in the current historic moment, characterized by a rapid spread of broadband and ultra-broadband technologies and by the ongoing roll-out the 5G wireless technology networks worldwide.

In this context, the strategic plans and choices of the operators shall take into due account all the consequences stemming from the relevant decisions taken at the EU level. These evaluations shall include not only the implications envisaged from the forthcoming national transposition of the EU Electronic Communications Code (Directive No. 2018/1972), which is deemed to take place within 21 December 2020, but also other relevant pieces of legislation, which could greatly influence the implementation of a long-term commercial strategy (e.g. the Directive of security of network and information systems – NIS Directive or the Regulation No. 2019/452 establishing a framework for the screening of foreign direct investments into the Union).

Most importantly, the regulatory framework applicable in Italy is also very articulated. Consequently, every operator shall comply with laws and regulations adopted by different actors. These includes:

  • The relevant laws adopted by the Italian Government and Parliament in the electronic communications’ sector as well as in other fields strictly related to it (such as Government’s foreign investments’ control procedures in strategic sectors, known as “Golden Power”);
  • The specific regulations adopted by the Italian Ministry of Economic Development (MISE), which has a specific competence in the telecommunications sector, that includes the power to release the relevant authorizations;
  • The Italian Communications Authority (AGCOM), which acts as the regulator of the electronic communications sector, with the power to sanction operators not complying with the relevant laws and regulations;
  • The Italian Competition and Consumer Protection Authority (ICA), which has the power to sanction any violation of antitrust rules (e.g. abuses of dominance and cartels) as well as any unfair commercial practice put in place by electronic communications operators against consumers, and to impose conditions on concentrations possibly hampering competition in the telecommunications’ market.

Eversheds Sutherland Italian lawyers can provide assistance before all the abovementioned authorities, with which we have long-standing relationships in place, in the context of proceedings initiated for the adoption of general regulations (such as public consultations and auditions) and for the purposes of behavioral investigations. Furthermore, we can assist national and multinational companies for the compliance with the relevant laws and regulations on an ongoing basis and in the negotiations of contractual relationships with partners and commercial counterparties.

 

Contact us

Alessandro Greco, Partner