Communications Technology

Morrison & Foerster's communications industry team offers clients depth and breadth of expertise in the regulatory, transactional, intellectual property and litigation aspects of the communications business. As a result, we have become known as one of a handful of firms that can offer full-service, across-the-board, legal representation to communications companies.

Our work spans everything from entertainment deals, to regulatory matters, to highly innovative technology transactions. We routinely represent domestic and international wireless service providers. This includes companies that are focused on cellular telephone, personal communications services (PCS), wireless fidelity (WI-FI), mobile satellite, direct broadcast satellite, and air-to-ground. We also represent domestic and international wire line service providers and broadcasters.

We represent issuers and underwriters in financing transactions, parties involved in mergers and acquisitions, and carriers and users engaged in negotiating contracts relating to domestic and international telecommunications services. We are called upon most frequently to provide regulatory counsel to clients (both providers and recipients of capital) in connection with financing cable, broadcast, fiber optic, and wireless acquisitions, with restructurings, and with obtaining Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and state regulatory approvals for transfers of control of communications enterprises or assets.

Our strengths in entertainment, media, telecommunication, and technology make us a leading law firm for deals involving the convergence of transmission capability, digital signaling processing and content production, ownership, and distribution.

We are frequently involved in assisting international organizations and some of the world’s largest communications companies in addressing a variety of regulatory issues in the U.S., Asia, and Europe. We represent numerous U.S., Japanese, and European handset makers and semiconductor companies in regulatory issues, licensing arrangements, intellectual property disputes, and strategic alliances around the world in these and other cellular telephony matters. We are particularly experienced in handling matters adverse to Qualcomm in the CDMA and WDMA areas.

We represent a variety of companies providing integrated IP-enabled services including VoIP services. We represent clients in the FCC’s major ongoing rulemakings on IP-enabled services. We’ve participated in these rulemakings from their beginnings, and are experienced in the economic, competition, and social policy issues that the FCC, Congress, and state regulators are considering as VoIP and IPTV develop in the marketplace. We represented 3DO Company in its agreements with Electronic Arts, Matsushita (Pioneer), and other companies in licensing software and related technology for interactive multimedia products.

Our clients include Atlantic Cable Systems, Ltd., Clearwire Communications, Hibernia, ICO Global Communications, NTT DoCoMo, Research in Motion, T-Mobile USA, and UTStarcom.

Alltel Corporation
We advised ALLTEL Corporation on the regulatory aspects of its agreement to be acquired by TPG Capital and GS Capital Partners in a transaction valued at $27.5 billion, at the time the largest private equity acquisition in the wireless industry.
European Multimedia Forum
We were instrumental in the formation of, and serve as counsel to, the European Multimedia Forum.  The Forum is an association of leading Europe-based electronics manufacturers, telecommunications companies, and publishers formed to promote the development of multimedia technologies, business partnerships, and the European Information Highway. 
Nextel Communications (now Sprint Nextel Corp.)
We represented Nextel in its agreements with Qualcomm Incorporated, Motorola, Inc. and other companies in connection with the development, licensing, and deployment of technology for the next generation of Nextel's wireless telecommunications services.
T-Mobile USA, Inc.
We provide regulatory and transactional counseling to T-Mobile USA, Inc., and its operating subsidiaries in their business development and operations. Through its growth into one of a handful of nationwide wireless carriers, we have assisted T-Mobile in the acquisition of its network through the FCC's spectrum auctions, in secondary market transactions and by the formation of strategic alliances with other telecom operators and investors.
T-Mobile USA, Inc.
We represented T-Mobile USA, Inc., in its $29 billion merger with Deutsche Telekom AG, which was the first FCC approved take-over of a U.S. common carrier by a company majority-owned by a foreign government. We also represented T-Mobile in connection with Deutsche Telekom's $5 billion investment in T-Mobile prior to the merger.
Chambers Global (2011 – 2015)
Global: Technology & Communications

Chambers Asia
Asia-Pacific Region: TMT (2014 – 2015)
China: Information Technology (2013 – 2015)

Chambers USA
California: IT and IT Outsourcing (2011 – 2015)
New York: Technology & IT Outsourcing (2011 – 2015)
District of Columbia: Technology & Outsourcing (2012 – 2015)
National: Outsourcing (2011 – 2015)

Legal 500 Asia-Pacific (2010 – 2015)
China: TMT: Foreign Firms
Hong Kong: TMT

PLC Which lawyer? 2009
China: Outsourcing and IT
Hong Kong: Telecoms and IT
United States: National: Telecommunications

PLC Which lawyer? 2009 Global 50 Portrait
Telecoms, IT & Outsourcing noted as global areas of excellence

U.S. News – Best Lawyers® Best Law Firms 2010
Los Angeles: Technology Law (Tier 1)
New York: Information Technology Law (Tier 1)
New York: Technology Law (Tier 1)
San Francisco: Information Technology Law (Tier 1)
Washington, D.C.: Information Technology Law (Tier 1)
Washington, D.C.: Technology Law (Tier 1)

Here is what they say about us:

“They understand the need to deliver practical and creative solutions that provide appropriate resolutions and advance the business issues.”
(Chambers USA 2015)

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