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Described as “An excellent firm with top-notch lawyers” by Chambers and Partners and named a top media and entertainment practice by Law360, Covington helps clients in the media, internet, and technology industries secure competitive advantage in an increasingly crowded—and regulated—marketplace.
Covington offers integrated regulatory and policy, transactional, intellectual property, and litigation expertise in order to meet the specialized needs of clients around the world.
Representation of European telecommunications company Altice S.A. (Euronext ATC) in a $9.1 billion deal to acquire a controlling stake in Suddenlink, a top ten cable operator in the U.S.
Successful representation of CBS Corporation, The Walt Disney Company, Twenty-First Century Fox, Inc., Scripps Networks Interactive Inc., Time Warner Inc., Univision Communications Inc., and Viacom Inc. Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. against the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in connection with the disclosure of programming contracts with pay-TV providers as part of the FCC’s review of pending cable and satellite mergers.
Representation of Microsoft Corp. in its purchase of substantially all of Nokia’s devices & services business and licensing of Nokia’s patents. Covington advised on IP, commercial and regulatory matters on the transaction.
Served as communications regulatory counsel to Tribune Company in its $2.73 billion acquisition of Local TV Holdings, LLC.
Representation of the National Football League in connection with its deal to extend DirecTV's exclusive rights to carry NFL Sunday Ticket in a multi-year agreement.
Served as communications regulatory counsel to Univision in filing for an initial public offering of Class A common stock in the United States on July 2, 2015.
BiddingForGood, Inc., in its sale to FrontStream Holdings, Inc. a portfolio company of Arsenal Capital Partners.
Advised BiddingForGood in its recent Series E financing. BiddingForGood is the leading online auction platform for charitable entities.
Represented Oplink Communications in its $445 million acquisition by Koch Industries.
Represented The National Football League on its next generation data collaboration with Sportsradar, a European sports data company.
Represented a large social-media platform in connection with the development and implementation of new online advertising products.
Represented Microsoft as a principal member of the consortium submitting the winning bid for the worldwide licensing and patent portfolio of Nortel for $4.5 billion.
Advised EverString Innovation Technology in a $12 million Series A financing.
Represented Chapter 11 debtor in its bankruptcy liquidation.
Represented WWE in the launch of the WWE Network, a direct-to-consumer, subscription-only, online video channel that will air round-the-clock programming, including new programs and matches, an on-demand service, WrestleMania, and a six-decades-deep library for $9.99 a month. This is one of the first sports “over the top” offerings in the United States and the transaction received a great deal of publicity as a result.
Represented Lightbridge Communications in its $240 million acquisition by Tech Mahindra Ltd.
Achieved dismissal of a putative class action against LinkedIn alleging violations of the Stored Communications Act and state law. The complaint asserted that LinkedIn disclosed LinkedIn user identification numbers and LinkedIn URL addresses to third party advertising companies, which allowed those companies to correlate the identity of a user with his or her previously anonymous Web browsing history.
Advised Microsoft in relation to the data protection aspects of the purchases of Nokia’s device and services business and Skype.
Achieved dismissal of a putative class action against National Public Radio alleging violations of the Wiretap Act, Stored Communications Act, and state laws. The complaint alleged that mobile app developers wrongfully transmitted personal information to third party advertising companies.
Represented Steve Ballmer in his $2 billion acquisition of the Los Angeles Clippers from The Sterling Family Trust.
Represented Microsoft in the $4.5 billion winning bid in the auction of Nortel Networks Corporation’s 6000 patents and patent applications.
Represented Microsoft in the $1.1 billion acquisition of 800 patents from AOL, and its $550 million sale to Facebook of the right to acquire a portion of the AOL portfolio.
Achieved summary judgment for Microsoft in a putative class action alleging unauthorized collection of geolocation information from the plaintiffs’ mobile devices. After a claim under the Wiretap Act was dismissed at the pleadings stage, we successfully obtained summary judgment on a remaining claim under the Stored Communications Act.
Represented Microsoft, as IP, commercial, and regulatory counsel, in its $7 billion purchase of substantially all of Nokia’s devices & services business.
Represented Telular Corporation in its $253 million acquisition by Avista Capital Partners.
Represented The Walt Disney Company in its $455 million acquisition of India's UTV Software Communications Limited, an integrated media and entertainment company involved in broadcasting, motion pictures, games content, interactive, and television content.
Advised a leading information technology company and represented them before the U.S. and EU governments in the WTO debate on e-commerce.
Represent Fortune 100 companies in the consumer goods, health insurance, and technology industries with respect to sensitive, ongoing securities disclosure, and compliance matters.
Represented Univision Communications in the precedential agreement for carriage of Univision’s broadcast stations and cable networks on DISH’s “over the top” Sling TV service. The UCI media portfolio includes the Univision Network, one of the top five broadcast networks, and the most-watched Spanish language broadcast network in the U.S., reaching approximately 94 percent of U.S. Hispanic television households. The agreement covers the Univision and UniMas broadcast networks, as well as other UCI services, such as Univision Deportes and El Rey Network. Sling TV is a new online offering from one of the largest television distributors in the country, by which subscribers can view major network content via the Internet anywhere in the United States.
Represented Rightster Group plc. in the listing of its shares to the AIM market of the London Stock Exchange.
Represented Microstrategy in transactions related to the development of social media apps that leverage big data.
Represented Snow Phipps Group in its acquisitions of ITSolutions, the IT services business of NetStar-1, Inc. (now 2020 LLC), and Service Champ.
Represent numerous Fortune 500 companies in the pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, health insurance, home equipment, advertising, motor vehicles, network communications, and technology industries with respect to the resolution of shareholder proposals concerning executive compensation, majority voting, proxy access, the right to call special meetings, political spending and lobbying disclosures, and a host of other topics.
Represented Avnet, Inc. in a registered offering of $350 million of 4.875% Notes due 2022.
Represented Aristocrat Leisure Limited in its $1.28 billion acquisition of Video Gaming Technologies, Inc.
Represented Altice in its $9.1 billion acquisition of Suddenlink.
Providing general privacy advice in connection with AOL’s advertising businesses.
Achieved dismissal of a putative class action against AOL alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The complaint sought to hold AOL liable for misdirected text messages sent by users of AOL’s Instant Messenger system.
Achieved dismissal of a putative class action against AOL alleging violations of the Wiretap Act, Video Privacy Protection Act, and numerous state laws. The suit alleged unauthorized collection of personal information from the plaintiffs’ computers using “Flash cookies” and unlawful disclosure of video viewing information to third parties.
Advised Cedel International Investment, an international investment fund, in its investment in V-ME Media, Inc., the owners and operators of the V-ME Network, the fourth largest Spanish television network in the United States.
Represented National Geographic Society and affiliates as large unsecured creditors and contract counterparties in this Chapter 11 case.
Achieved dismissals of three putative class actions against Cable One, a cable and Internet service provider, in litigation involving claims under the Wiretap Act, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, and related state laws. The litigation arose out of a third party’s test of a system using “deep packet inspection” for the purpose of serving targeted advertisements.
Advised operators of child-directed websites and services on strategies for communicating their child-directed nature to third-party advertising partners in connection with the revised COPPA Rule.
Assisted the operator of a child-directed website in responding to an inquiry by the Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU) regarding its online behavioral advertising practices.
Represented Wilmington Trust Co., as indenture trustee, in connection with contested plan proceedings in this Chapter 11 case.
Represented boards in the pharmaceuticals, consumer goods, health insurance, home equipment, advertising, motor vehicles, network communications, and technology industries as well as hedge funds, public pension funds, and other investors with respect to corporate governance developments regarding board and committee composition, crisis management, cybersecurity, internal controls, shareholder proposals, proxy access, political spending, and other sensitive disclosures and similar matters.
Advising major Internet companies as to the substantiation required to defend advertising claims made about their products and services.
Routinely draft ad-serving agreements, data licenses, and advertising terms and guidelines for website advertising and advertising delivered on mobile and social media platforms.
Represented a third-party advertising service in responding to an inquiry by the FTC into the company’s technology for selecting and delivering online advertising.
Represented a third-party advertising service in responding to an inquiry by the FTC into the company’s technology for selecting and delivering online advertising. Mmatter was resolved without any formal enforcement action.
Represented GHL Acquisition in its $591 million acquisition of Iridium Holdings.
Advised Facebook, in connection with its acquisitions of Instagram, Oculus, WhatsApp and other entities.
For SES Americom, we provided advice and advocacy at the FCC and DOJ concerning the impact of the News Corp. acquisition of Hughes Electronics (and its subsidiary, PanAmSat), on competition in the satellite distribution services industry.
Representation of Sony BMG Music Entertainment in a class action lawsuit challenging royalties for downloading music and in connection with an insurance coverage dispute arising out of damage allegedly caused by DRM software included on music CDs.
Representation of one of the leading distributors of televisions to the healthcare field, Specialty Equipment Manufacturers, on FCC compliance issues. When its leading manufacturer discovered problems complying with an FCC rule, we sought a waiver of the FCC’s Part 15 requirements for one of the leading TV set manufacturer in this market.
Devised and coordinated anti-piracy strategies throughout Europe (including Russia and markets in Eastern Europe) to enforce the IPRs of leading software providers.
Represented Cook Inlet and others in the spectrum auctions process.
Secured district court dismissal of ERISA notice and fiduciary breach claims against our client Verizon, arising from the spin-off of a business, on the basis of the statute of limitations. Murphy v. Verizon Commc’ns, Inc., 50 Empl. Ben. Cas. (BNA) 1855 (N.D. Tex. 2010).
Representation of the Walt Disney Company in its $7 billion acquisition of Infoseek Corporation.
Representation of the Association of Public Television Stations on whether public television stations may use their surplus digital capacity for commercial purposes, including non-broadcast advertisements.
Representation of Electronic Arts in an assessment of its freedom to operate for a new product in light of third party patents.
Representation of broadcasters and programming suppliers in negotiations and litigation with satellite carriers EchoStar and DirecTV.
Working for the enactment of meaningful net neutrality legislation on behalf of a coalition of Internet leaders, including eBay, Google, InterActiveCorp, Microsoft and Yahoo!.
Challenging the largest broadcast indecency fine ever proposed by the FCC as lead counsel for a coalition of nearly 100 broadcast television stations.
Representation the broadcast industry and individual broadcasters for nearly two decades on the incredible range of technical, legal and policy issues surrounding the transition to digital television. We helped negotiate the DTV standard, and devised the new frequency table. We worked closely at every step with the FCC’s engineers and with engineers across the television industry. We also worked to develop the new rules and legal requirements to accompany the detailed technical analysis.
Provided strategic advice and advocacy support to the Business Software Alliance on the EU Copyright Directive, proposed Software Patents Directive and IP Enforcement Directive, and more broadly assisted in efforts to promote the protection of IP in the EU and third countries.
Representation of Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings, Inc. in a $100 million bond offering.
Representation of Microsoft before the FCC on various issuing surrounding its Media Center and DRM products. We obtained FCC recognition of Windows Media Digital Rights Management software as a permissible means to handle digital content. We also represent the company in ongoing rulemakings and waiver petitions involving plug-and-play issues, including industry-wide efforts to resolve these issues.
Representation of Microsoft in negotiating licenses for IP related digital output and copy protection technology for the Xbox 360 console.
Representation of a major media company on all telecom matters relevant to its commencement and continuity of operations as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator (i.e., a reseller of wireless service) in the U.S. market.
Representation of major publishers in the United States and Europe on cross-border libel matters relating to Internet publication.
Representation of Microsoft in negotiating reseller agreements for interactive voice recognition cloud services between Microsoft subsidiary Tellme and various partners, initially Juma Technology Company and its subsidiary Nectar Services Corp.
Representation of the National Association of Broadcasters before the U.S. Supreme Court in the Schwarzenegger case, which concerns the First Amendment validity of state-imposed limitations on violent video games.
Representation of National Geographic Society in the creation of the National Geographic Channel with News Corp. and NBC.
Protecting the rights of journalists to gather news in the New York and New Jersey transit systems, on behalf of the National Press Photographers Association.
Representation of Mobile Satellite Ventures (MSV), an L-band MSS provider that has an authorization for a next generation service using ancillary terrestrial components (ATC), in corporate and transactional matters, including equity and debt financing.
Representation of clients on various legislative and regulatory policy and litigation issues, including (1) retransmission consent, (2) downconversion of digital signals by cable systems, (3) carriage of digital multicast streams by cable, DBS and other video program distributors, (4) indecency, (5) media ownership and (6) importation of distant signals by DBS operators.
Obtaining rules on commercial fax messages that protect consumers’ rights, but are fair to legitimate businesses, after multi-venue effort in Congress, in court and at the FCC on behalf of the Fax Ban Coalition, a cross-industry group of trade associations and businesses, as well as the U.S. Chambers of Commerce, the National Association of Realtors and a coalition of businesses in the mortgage finance industry.
Representation of a foreign satellite manufacturer on general corporate and securities law issues regarding its activities with a U.S. company developing a new satellite-based communications service.
Representation of one of the world’s largest global software and technology companies in a range of communications regulatory issues affecting its business.
For Verizon, in a companion case to a similar claim against Equitable, secured the first favorable ruling in the Second Circuit on claims that cash balance plans violate the age discrimination provision of ERISA. Hirt v. The Equitable Retirement Plan, 533 F.3d 102 (2d Cir. 2008).
Representation of a group of secured lenders as principal outside regulatory counsel in the restructuring of FairPoint Communications.
Represented investors in the old ITFS and MMDS spectrums have turned to us for advise on new spectrum strategies, regulatory reform, and deal work.
Representation of Altice N.V. in its $18 billion acquisition of Cablevision Systems Corporation, which will make Altice the 4th largest U.S. cable operator with approximately 4.5 million customers.
Representation of the National Football League in connection with its deal to extend DirecTV's exclusive rights to carry NFL Sunday Ticket in a multi-year agreement.
Sony BMG Music Entertainment in a class action lawsuit brought by the Allman Brothers Band and Cheap Trick on behalf of all artists whose contracts pre-date the era of digital downloaded music. Sony BMG pays the artists under the applicable royalty rate for album sales at brick-and-mortar record stores, while the artists claim that Sony BMG should be paying a much greater royalty rate for downloaded music.
Representation of Samsung in the ITC Section 337 Investigation: Certain Consumer Electronics and Display Devices and Products Containing Same, USITC Inv. No. 337-TA-836 (Respondent).
Representation of Hewlett-Packard in the ITC Section 337 Investigation: Wireless Communication Devices and Systems, USITC Inv. No. 337-TA-775 (Respondent).
Representation of Nintendo in the ITC Section 337 Investigation: Video Game Machines and Related Three-Dimensional Pointing Devices, USITC Inv. No. 337-TA-658 (Respondent).
Representation of Samsung in the ITC Section 337 Investigation: Electronic Devices, Including Handheld Wireless Communication Devices, USITC Inv. No. 337-TA-673 (Respondent).
Representation of FujiPhoto Film Co. in the ITC Section 337 Investigation: Lens-Fitted Film Packages, USITC Inv. No. 337-TA-406 (Complainant).
Represent Samsung in consolidated antitrust price-fixing and deceptive practice class actions involving liquid crystal displays. Won dismissal of claims valued at more than $3.5 billion, brought by Motorola Mobility against Samsung Electronics and several other manufacturers, shortly before trial.
Representing Pixar in multi-defendant federal antitrust class action litigation alleging an unlawful agreement among certain Silicon Valley firms to limit their recruiting of each other’s employees.
Advising Microsoft on a broad range of privacy and data security issues impacting its services in Europe and at a global level.
Advising a large social network on compliance with U.S., EU and international data privacy laws in relation to its launch of new services and functionality, including geotargeting, facial recognition and targeted advertising.
GHL Acquisition Corp., a special purpose acquisition company sponsored by Greenhill & Co., Inc., in its acquisition of Iridium Holdings LLC, the leading mobile satellite services provider.
Counseled leading health care information, product and disease-oriented websites on advertising and sponsorship arrangements.
Advised governments on the privatization of telecom service providers, crafting regulations for the introductions of regulatory structures to foster competition in the telecommunications industry; drafted regulations governing telecom activities; and established a licensing and regulatory structure for the introduction of next-generation wireless telecommunications service.
Counseled leading human and animal food and pharmaceutical manufacturers on all facets of food and drug labeling, marketing and advertising requirements.
Libel defense litigation and prepublication review of news and other content for broadcasters in some 35 states, including First Amendment, newsgathering, copyright, defamation and privacy advice, and opposing subpoenas from prosecutors and others.
Labrador Communications, a start-up new media company, in its exclusive content distribution agreement with Cingular Wireless for the distribution of Labrador’s stock-car racing audio programs as a subscription service to Cingular’s mobile telephone customers.
FCC handed Covington a decisive victory to the Tennis Channel in its discriminatory carriage lawsuit against Comcast Cable Communications, the largest distributor of video programming content.
Represented Time Warner Cable Inc. in a joint venture with the Los Angeles Dodgers to create a regional sports network that now carries the team’s games and in connection with the related distribution and license agreements.
Represented the NHL in negotiating its 12 year, C$5.232 billion agreement with Rogers Communications for national broadcast and multimedia rights to NHL games, including the Stanley Cup Playoffs and Stanley Cup Final, in Canada. The agreement is the largest media rights deal in NHL history and one of the largest media rights deals, including the largest-ever sports-media rights agreement, in Canadian history.
LIN TV Corp. in its acquisition of Red McCombs Media, an online advertising company and one of Inc. magazine’s fastest-growing private companies.
Representation of clients on connection with inquiries concerning manufacturers’ suggested retail pricing.
Represented MLB in connection with the formation and launch of the MLB Network, including negotiating joint venture arrangements with major carriers and the MLB Network’s carriage terms.
Assisting a major U.S. tech company with an entrance into China, including providing a comprehensive analysis of privacy and data protection issues in connection with that entry.
One of the world’s largest global mass media companies needed support on a range of issues that intersect law and policy. We helped the client:
Led the leading litigations challenging the FCC’s rules on telemarketing and fax advertising.
Advised Internet-site operators on commercial strategies, including with respect to CPM-based revenue sharing arrangements.
Negotiated various innovative program agreements for (a) the NFL, including for example, its deals with ESPN and Sprint and one with TiVo to protect its programming against Internet piracy, (b) other program deals involving PBS, Comcast and Children’s Television Workshop and (c) NBC Weather Plus and NBC Broadband -- joint ventures between the network and its affiliates.
Inquam Limited in its acquisition of Telemobil S.A., the Romanian wireless telecommunications operator, and on Telemobil’s subsequent vendor financing facility with Lucent Technologies.
Representation of the first joint venture to provide Mobile Digital Television ("Mobile DTV") services in the United States in establishing a nine-company venture, as well as in negotiating a national joint venture with NBC, Fox and Ion Media to deploy this new digital service. This project has involved leading the negotiation of the Pearl Mobile DTV venture, leading the negotiation of certain programming and content agreements, and heading up public policy efforts with Congress, the White House, and the FCC.
Kangaroo Media Inc. in the negotiation of an agreement with Formula One for the rights to provide a handheld TV service to racing fans at F1 events around the world.
Advised Keanu Reeves and Stephan Hamel’s production company, Company Films, on China projects.
Advised actor John Lone (of "M. Butterfly," "Rush Hour 2" and the Academy-award winning "The Last Emperor") in exploring China opportunities.
Drafted new defamation laws for Bosnia.
Advised private equity firm Cyrte Investments on a major investment in a co-production with a Chinese studio.
Defended claims threatened against a technology company in the US and the UK, involving alleged SOX whistleblower protections and unlawful detriment claims.
Represented Bertelsmann, Inc. in multi-district antitrust class action litigation alleging price-fixing and other violations of antitrust laws with respect to digital music.
Represented Universal Studios in obtaining the dismissal of a high-profile negligence action brought by a Maury Show guest in New York state court.
Representing a high-profile media entity in a U.S. Department of Justice investigation of business practices in the Middle East.
Developed technical substantiation to support product claims made in labeling, promotions and advertising, and in the defense of substantiation in the litigation context.
Advised on advertising policies, including with respect to privacy laws, including the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, and developed advertising policies.
Led the Coalition of Broadband Users and Innovators, including Microsoft, Yahoo!, Google, eBay, and consumer groups before the FCC and Congress for policies that ensure that as broadband services are deregulated, these Internet content companies have the ability to reach their customers.
Drafted and negotiated commercial arrangements for online advertising revenue-sharing arrangements, sponsored-search and graphical advertising involving the leading Internet portals and Internet content providers.
Advising on copyright matters relating to rights to an extensive photographic archive and on wrongful publication of photographs in Europe.
We have advised leading consumer electronics companies in the in EU in proceedings to consider possible reform of national rules on copyright levies.
Provide general copyright and fair use advice and counseling to publishers such as the National Geographic Society, the Washington Post Company, and Zomba Music Publishing, to various television broadcast stations, and to a number of leading online business and media ventures including The Microsoft Network, USA Interactive, and the National Football League. Covington is also special intellectual property counsel to the Smithsonian Institution.
Provided copyright advice on advertising issues, including with respect to copyright risk-assessment and worked with clients to develop copyright compliance strategies.
We advised an independent lifestyle programming channel on the effects of a potential Comcast/Time Warner Cable merger and assisted them in communicating their concerns to Congress and relevant federal agencies, including the Department of Justice, and the FCC. Covington’s work led to the channel’s then-CEO testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Provided guidance to a major technology and manufacturing company in connection with the unauthorized posting of employee personal information on a third-party webpage. Our efforts on behalf of the client included working with Internet service providers to remove the posted information and providing notice to potentially affected individuals and applicable state regulators.
Advised major content providers, including sports leagues and television programmers and operators, on broadcasting, online and digital media advertising trends.
Counseled major consumer products manufacturers and sellers on commercial and regulatory advertising issues.
Representation of a global content provider in its global partnership with an international telecommunications provider to develop and operate a 3G mobile music service.
Covington successfully represented CBS and NBC Television Affiliates in this case involving the FCC’s policy on broadcast of "fleeting expletives." The Supreme Court held that the agency’s policy violated the Due Process Clause, an argument emphasized in Covington’s brief for the television stations.
Representation of a coalition of 600 companies and trade associations advocating the FCC to amend its rules to enable business to use faxes to contact their customers. When Congress adopted a law allowing those faxes, we represented the coalition before Congress on implementing this law.
Represented Raycom Media in obtaining a favorable settlement of a lawsuit brought against the City of Cleveland when the mayor issued a formal edict barring all city officials from speaking with WOIO-TV, a Raycom-owned CBS affiliate, after the station aired a documentary critical of the mayor.
Representation of New Skies in an ICC arbitration awarding relief of more than US$150 million to our client for a defective communications satellite.
Represented Expedia in multiple national antitrust class actions relating to hotel bookings.
Advised Expedia (and affiliates Hotels.com, Hotwire, and TripAdvisor) on a variety of privacy and data security matters, including e-mail marketing, targeted advertising, fraud prevention, and changes to online privacy policies.
Advised a Japanese technology client on the international employment, pensions and incentives aspects arising on the formation of a joint venture with operations in the US, Asia and Europe.
Advise start-ups such as producers of original Web content and digital music services.
Represented Pixar and Disney in multi-defendant antitrust class actions alleging unlawful agreements among certain Silicon Valley firms and animation studios to limit their recruiting of each other’s employees.
We have served as secretariat to several informal coalitions working on telecommunications issues and intellectual property protection.
Represented Microsoft in connection with Cisco’s appeal against the European Commission’s decision to approve Microsoft’s acquisition of Skype.
Representation of Microsoft, Expedia, and Trip Advisor in the U.S. and Europe in connection with investigations regarding Google’s abusive search-related conduct.
We have represented software companies on EU and national legislation concerning software standards, copyright infringement, electronic commerce, data protection, and other issues.
Reviewed on behalf of U.S. interests defamation and free expression laws proposed for Iraq by a coalition of international experts.
Represented technology firm in connection with a FTC investigation of a standard setting organization.
Represented international video game publisher in copyright infringement claims by major record labels and publishing companies regarding licensing of sound recordings and compositions. Successfully resolved all claims without litigation.
Rooster Teeth Productions, Inc., a company that produces animated shorts, in connection with a license agreement.
Assisted a satellite provider in establishing a European services satellite trade association. Subsequent representation of the association enabled us to combine our knowledge of law relating to EU trade associations with our experience in EU legislative advocacy in the telecom industry.
Representation of a satellite provider in seeking broader access to markets in China, Mexico and elsewhere, which allowed us to combine our trade and communications expertise.
Represented Reliance Infocomm Limited in connection with its $750 million financing from the Export-Import Bank of the United States and Export Development Canada. The financing was provided to assist Reliance Infocomm in building a state of the art telecommunications infrastructure for India -- the largest and most complex information and communications technology initiative in the world. The definitive documents for the facility were entered into in December 2004 and the facility was drawn on in March 2005. The facility was the largest telecom installations loan for any company world-wide in 2004.
Representation of Microsoft in connection with its complaint regarding the anticompetitive patent licensing practices of Motorola Mobility.
Researched and crafted a comprehensive report on the policy options for creation of independent regulatory authorities in the EU.
Qualcomm in acquisitions and investments including its joint venture with Omnia, a subsidiary of Saudi Oger, to create a UK-based company to deploy CDMA-based technology; its acquisition of UK-based Elata (Holdings) Limited, which provides content delivery and device management software systems; and its acquisition of Trigenix Limited, a European mobile content delivery software producer.
Represent Sony Music Entertainment in matter involving contract and intellectual property claims by former music manager regarding 70’s rock act.
Advised a state-owned Chinese media group with respect to an international co-production project to be produced by a leading Hollywood producer.
Sony Network Services in the negotiation of an agreement with Alltel, the U.S. mobile network operator, to provide the "StreamMan" personalized music service to Alltel's cellphone customers.
Regularly advise the NFL on a range of broadband issues, from net neutrality to online privacy to compulsory copyright, and briefed the NBA on how the media landscape is changing, and how broadband is both a compliment and a threat to existing models.
Represented the National Football League in a copyright infringement action against a satellite carrier, successfully obtaining statutory damages and a permanent injunction prohibiting satellite retransmission of game telecasts originating in the United States to locations outside the United States.
Assist the National Football League in registering copyright and combatting the unauthorized retransmission and public performance of NFL game telecasts over the internet.
Represented the NFL in the renewal of Motorola’s sideline sponsorship with the NFL for coaches’ headsets and other wireless equipment. Covington helped the NFL define the rules—and the scope of the covered business category—to ensure a win for both sides.
Representation of the National Football League in its $17 billion, 8-year U.S. network television programming agreements and in its agreements with AOL, SportsLine.com and others for the joint production of the official NFL websites.
Advised on news gathering issues in relation to an undercover documentary being filmed in Europe and Africa.
Represented the NHL in connection with entry into a six-year digital rights partnership under which the NHL licensed to MLB Advanced Media (MLBAM) rights to distribute the NHL’s out-of-market subscription packages, digital and online properties, and related rights, and in connection with negotiations for an equity stake in a to-be-formed tech company that is expected to be created by MLBAM.
Filed amicus briefs on behalf of The ERISA Industry Committee in a variety of other groundbreaking cases, including Black & Decker v. Nord, 538 U.S. 822 (2003); Lockheed Corp. v. Spink, 517 U.S. 882 (1996); Patterson v. Shumate, 504 U.S. 753 (1992); Hecker v. Deere & Co., 556 F.3d 575 (7th Cir. 2009); Langbecker v. Electronic Data Sys. Corp., 476 F.3d 299 (5th Cir. 2007); and Montesano v. Xerox Corp., 256 F. 3d 86 (2d Cir. 2001).
Represented the NHL in connection with the Montreal Canadians' securitization of naming rights revenues for Bell Centre in Montreal.
Advised the National Hockey League in negotiating its twelve-year, C$5.2 billion agreement with Rogers Communications for national broadcast and multimedia rights to NHL games, including the Stanley Cup Playoffs and the Stanley Cup Final, in Canada.
Negotiated on behalf of Nike on stadium sponsorship transactions and associated sports apparel merchandizing agreements involving F.C. Internazionale Milano, the Football Union of Russia, and the Cardiff Rugby Football Club.
Microsoft wanted assistance with legal, public policy, and strategic issues. We support Microsoft on a wide array of policy and legislative issues, including privacy, national security, immigration, tax, and telecommunications, and assist them in gathering political intelligence and advocating before Congress and federal agencies.
Advised Microsoft on Internet Protocol Television issues, including testimony before Congress, appearances at the FCC, and industry negotiations, and advised on industry negotiations to encourage movie studios and the cable industry to use their digital rights management technology for distributing movie and other content over the Internet.
Assisted Microsoft with the integration of approximately 32,000 Nokia employees across 60 countries, following Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s devices and services business.
Advised Microsoft in relation to expatriate issues arising from post-acquisition integration with Nokia’s global mobile phone business.
Representation of numerous clients, including Microsoft, Verizon, New Skies Satellites, LIN Television, American Automobile Association and Ourisman Dodge in UDRP domain name proceedings.
Representation of a Mexico-based multi-system cable operator in a joint venture with a Mexico-based local and long-distance telecom company.
Representation of numerous clients, including Merck, Verizon, Spirits International, National Geographic Society, Public Broadcasting Services, M Financial, Promontory Financial Group, U.S. Soccer Federation, Lewis Brothers Bakeries and Rosie O’Donnell in opposition and cancellation proceedings before the United States Trademark Trial and Appeal Board.
Representation of National Geographic Society in the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts against claims of infringement of an alleged family of ZONE marks asserted by the author of a series of ZONE books on health and nutrition; and in an opposition proceeding before the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, claiming that applicant's EXPLORE CHANNEL mark is likely to cause confusion with National Geographic's EXPLORER marks.
NASCAR in connection with the production and distribution of content related to the Daytona 500 on iTunes.
Represented the NBA in expanding its partnerships with Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. and The Walt Disney Company through new, nine-year agreements under which ABC, TNT, and ESPN will televise NBA games beginning with the 2016-17 season and running through the 2024-25 season.
Covington successfully represented Verizon in an ERISA class action case brought by three retirees claiming the transfer of their pensions to a spin-off company violated various requirements of ERISA. The Fifth Circuit granted summary judgment in favor of Verizon after discovery. When the case grew to a class action, the Fifth Circuit eventually affirmed the dismissal of all claims.
Representation of NBA Properties and the NBA member teams in trademark litigation concerning the DREAM TEAM mark in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri, and also in anti-counterfeiting litigation concerning other NBA marks brought in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia against purveyors of counterfeit NBA merchandise in connection with an NBA All-Star game.
Represented the NFL in negotiating its multi-billion dollar deal with DIRECTV to extend DIRECTV's exclusive rights to carry the NFL Sunday Ticket out-of-market games package through a new multi-year agreement. The new agreement expands DIRECTV’s rights to stream NFL Sunday Ticket on mobile devices and via broadband, and provides for the NFL and DIRECTV to explore the development of an NFL Sunday Ticket over-the-top subscription service. The deal also provides for DirecTV to continue to carry NFL Network.
Advised on the full-range of political advertising issues, with clients ranging from candidates to political parties, to broadcast stations.
In complex proceedings before the Copyright Arbitration Royalty Panel, to allocate royalties among owners of TV programming rights.
Production counsel for “The Karate Kid” (Columbia Pictures, starring Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan), box office hit “Let the Bullets Fly” (actor-director Jiang Wen), and leading Chinese filmmaker Chen Kaige’s “The Orphan of Zhao.”
Represented media companies in class actions alleging improper collection and/or disclosure of user information.
Production counsel for Keanu Reeves’s directorial debut, "Man of Tai Chi," a co-production involving Village Roadshow Entertainment Group Asia and China Film Group, which was picked up for release by Universal.
Advised on privacy, libel and related liability issues relating to user-generated content.
Representation of private equity firms and other financial investors in connection with their broadcast media interests.
Chief outside counsel to a leading independent producer of Chinese reality television shows, including "Pepsi’s Battle of the Bands" and the "Miss Universe China Reignwood Pageant."
Defending a Korean memory chip maker in its suit involving seven patents relating to semiconductor manufacturing processes. As a result of our aggressive and strategic approach, the case settled well prior to trial on very favorable terms to our client.
Representation of Open Mobile Video Coalition, consisting of some 800 television stations, which seeks to facilitate and promote mobile and portable video opportunities for broadcasters, equipment manufacturers and content suppliers.
Representing Samsung Electronics in an IP litigation against Enterprise Systems Technologies and succeeded in persuading the Texas district court judge to stay the entire district court case.
Representing a very large Korea multinational company in its acquisition of an IT company located in North America.
Advising Lenovo in securing approval from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States on its U.S. $2.3 billion acquisition of IBM's server business.
Represented Pandora Media, Inc. in its acquisition of Next Big Sound, Inc.,
Pearl Mobile DTV in establishing a nine-company venture to provide Mobile Digital Television services in the United States. Covington attorneys led the negotiations leading to the creation of the Pearl Mobile DTV venture, the negotiation of content license agreements, and public policy efforts before Congress and at the White House and the FCC.
Representation of the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in proceedings before the FCC, U.S. Copyright Office and other policy settings, including with respect to the role and distribution of educational and other noncommercial media across the broadcast, online, mobile and other IP-based platforms.
Representation of Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) in trademark litigation to recover the PBS.COM domain name in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia; and in an opposition proceeding before the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board, claiming that applicant's mark BE MORE RESPONSIBLE is likely to cause confusion with PBS's BE MORE mark.
Advise Public Broadcasting Service in negotiations and administrative proceedings relating to the distribution of statutory copyright royalties by the United States Copyright Office.
Representation of Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in a trial of false advertising claims brought by PBS challenging a video marketer’s use of the phrase “public television presents” in the Eastern District of Virginia.
Assessed proposed communications laws in countries in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.
Led an 80-member media coalition in persuading Congress to introduce legislation to protect journalists’ rights to protect their sources.
Negotiated advertising transitions involving paid-programming (or “infomercials”).
Advised on the advertising of “functional foods” -- foods and dietary supplements with particular health benefits and organic foods.
Advise U.S. software company, Adobe, on a media-related project in China.
Negotiated advertising-based content licensing arrangements, including in print, broadcast, and online media, and those associated with mobile-telephone content.
China Filmed Entertainment in production, financing, and distribution arrangements for films including The Painted Veil, Forbidden Kingdom, and Crazy Stone; and Season 15 of CBS/Mark Burnett’s Survivor (shot entirely in China).
Advised Celestial Pictures on certain PRC regulatory issues in connection with the formation of Celestial Tiger Entertainment, the joint venture Celestial formed with Lionsgate and the Saban Capital Group in late 2011.
Representation of a client in connection with obtaining UK merger clearance for the sale of a UK cable business.
Representation of a client opposed to certain aspects of proposed European Digital Video Broadcasting Standards, a matter on which we integrated our expertise in IP law, competition law and substantive and procedural aspects of the EU standardization process.
Representation of a client in the EU opposing the merger of two, U.S.-based global telecom service providers -- a matter that involved complex issues under EU competition law.
Representation of a client in financing a national wireless telecommunications system in India.
Belo Corp. in the formation of a joint venture with Right This Minute LLC to produce and distribute alternative news programming to local television stations.
Represented Barclays in connection with its acquisition of the naming rights to Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York, for a term of 20 years.
Barrington Broadcasting in a novel four-station shared services/joint-sales arrangement with Granite Broadcasting for coordinated television station operations in two markets.
Belo Corporation, an owner of television and radio stations and daily newspapers, in an agreement with Weathernews, Inc., an aggregator of digital content. Belo provided news and weather information, including video clips, for distribution by Weathernews to mobile telephones.
Representation of the TV industry trade association, the Association for Maximum Service Television, Inc. (MSTV), with respect to legislative and regulatory issues affecting broadcast television service, including the congressionally-mandated transition to an all-digital television service in June 2009 and the FCC's preparation of the National Broadband Plan mandated by Congress in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009.
Representation of AT&T in a trial in the District of Maryland concerning claims by a competitor that AT&T’s advertisements for telephone calling cards were misleading.
Representation of Baidu, Inc., China’s leading search engine, with respect to a media venture.
Representation of Atari Games in litigation involving home video game trademarks in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California.
CBSInteractive in various service agreements for digital media, wireless, and advertising services.
Copyright and IP advice to Celestial Pictures, the owner of the Shaw Brothers library, the largest Chinese-language film collection in the world.
Covington successfully represented CBS against a threat by the FCC to make hundreds of thousands of pages of highly confidential programming contracts and negotiation materials available to hundreds of third parties. The D.C. Circuit ruled in favor of CBS, stating the FCC’s decision was “both substantively and procedurally flawed.”
Representation of broadcasters on a range of legislative issues, including media ownership and the digital television transition. When the FCC proposed to increase the number of stations a network could own, Covington led the effort to urge Congress to adopt a special provision reversing the FCC. On behalf of broadcasters, we have been deeply involved in drafting every provision affecting the digital television transition over the past decade. Our long involvement in these issues before the Commission enable us to contribute effectively and efficiently to the debate before Congress.
Advised local broadcasters, which have unique content in many markets, as they explore deals to move their content to broadband platforms, advised the Washington Post, and worked for many years with the NFL on a range of important communications and media issues, including debates on Sunday Ticket, importation of distant signals, and Internet gambling.
Advise Business Software Alliance in most of the major domestic and international copyright law reform efforts resulting from the advent of the digital age, including the U.S. Digital Millennium Copyright Act, the WIPO Treaties, the EU Copyright Directive, the EU Software Directive, implementation of the TRIPS Agreement, and amendments to existing copyright laws in over 30 countries worldwide.
Advice regarding sponsorship and financing negotiations for the proposed USA Pavilion at the 2010 Shanghai World Expo.
Advised the United States Tennis Association Incorporated and ESPN, Inc. on an 11-year broadcast deal regarding telecasting the entire US Open exclusively on ESPN networks starting in 2015.
Defeated an effort by a class of retirees to block Verizon’s purchase of an annuity contract to settle $7.5 billion in pension liabilities.
Wide ranging advice to Village Roadshow Entertainment Group Asia, which has co-produced leading Chinese box office hits such as Stephen Chow’s “Journey to the West.”
Represented Pearl Mobile DTV in establishing a nine-company venture to provide Mobile Digital Television services in the United States. Covington led the negotiations leading to the creation of the Pearl Mobile DTV venture, the negotiation of content license agreements, and public policy efforts before Congress and at the White House and the FCC.
Obtained a court order for Verizon reforming a $1.7 billion drafting error in a pension plan formula. This was the first court order correcting a scrivener’s error in an ERISA plan.
Represented Verizon Communications with respect to its pension plan’s $7.5 billion annuity purchase (one of the largest pension annuitization transactions in US history), and successfully defending Verizon against an attempt by retirees to block the transaction in court.
Representation of Univision Communications in all communications-related regulatory matters. Univision is the nation’s largest integrated Spanish-language media company and the fifth-largest broadcast network in any language, which owns nearly 150 radio and television stations, three national programming networks, internet portals and a suite of mobile communications products.
Represented The Special Committee of Independent Directors of Adelphia Communications in its investigation of self-dealing by the Company’s controlling shareholders and improprieties in the Company’s financial reporting.
Represented HaloIPT, a leading provider of wireless charging technology for electric road vehicles, in Qualcomm’s acquisition of its assets and technology.
Achieved dismissal on summary judgment of a putative class action against Hulu alleging violation of the Video Privacy Protection Act. The complaint alleged that Hulu disclosed to third parties the video viewing information of individual Hulu users.
Achieved dismissal of a putative class action against The Huffington Post alleging violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act. The suit asserted unlawful transmission of unsolicited text messages.
Represented a third party in responding to an inquiry by the Online Interest-Based Advertising Accountability Program regarding compliance with the Digital Advertising Alliance’s Self-Regulatory Principles for Online Behavioral Advertising.
Advised Tencent Holdings Limited in connection with its investment activities relating to public and private companies.
Represented operators of online websites and mobile apps in responding to informal FTC inquiry letters involving alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act.
Advised Tencent Holdings Ltd. on its $50 million investment in Ontario-based KIKInteractive, Inc., a messenger application with more than 200 million registered users.
Advising Microsoft on the application of educational and children’s privacy rules to cloud computing services.
Represented Wilmington Trust Company, as indenture trustee, as member of ad hoc committee of noteholders in this Chapter 11 case.
Represented bidder in connection with Section 363 sale of substantially all of the assets of this Chapter 11 debtor.
Advising Microsoft on consent requirements under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act for responding to civil legal process requests in connection with cloud computing services.
Advised major U.S. television program suppliers in enforcing Canada’s market access commitments under the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA).
Advised developers of child-directed apps on the FTC’s informal guidance on the collection of audio files and other user-generated content, push notifications, in-app purchases, and other interactive features.
We have represented clients in numerous other congressional investigations and oversight hearings, including a major internet services company in an investigation of its practices abroad, a chemical manufacturer in an investigation of the safety of its products, an insurance company in a hearing on the federal long term care insurance program, a financial services company in an investigation of credit card terms, and drug companies in investigations concerning such matters as payments to doctors, marketing practices, generic approvals, drug importation, and drug safety.
Represented defendants in avoidance action brought by creditors’ committee in this Chapter 11 case.
Advised Village Roadshow Limited (VRL) on its destination theme park on Hainan Island, China. The theme park will focus on marine animal attractions, with a similar format to VRL’s Sea World on Australia's Gold Coast, and will also include a Wet ‘n Wild style water park.
Representation of TDS Telecom on a range of wireline issues before the FCC, including universal service, ETC regulation, intercarrier compensation and CALEA. We represent the world’s largest independent directory assistance providers on a range of issues before the FCC, including retail competition.
Representation of Yahoo! in a trademark infringement suit in the United States District Court for the Central District of California in which Yahoo! was accused of infringing the mark “Street Buzz” by using the term on its website in connection with web-based video segments.
Representation of Washington National Cathedral in a copyright action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia to enjoin a major movie studio from its unauthorized use of a Cathedral sculpture in a popular feature film.
Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. in the creation of its joint venture with CBS Sports and the venture’s 14-year television and new media rights agreement with the NCAA to present the Division I Men's Basketball Championship.
Advise two of the major Hollywood studios on a number of different feature films in China. Film projects for the majors include both studio films intended for wide international release, as well as local Chinese-language productions. Work for the majors also include advice regarding cooperation agreements, development, copyright and IP infringement, and relationships with talent.
Representation of Qwest Communications International Inc. in a number of strategic transactions and proposed transactions, including its merger with CenturyLink (as local counsel in the District of Columbia and Maryland).
Representation of Raycom’s CBS-affiliated station in Cleveland in opposing a newsgathering restriction imposed by the mayor of the City of Cleveland. Within 24 hours of the imposition of a ban on contacts to our clients’ journalists, we had begun preparation of an injunction action. Following initial hearings, we negotiated a resolution that resulted in full reinstitution of access for our client.
Representation of Pulitzer-prize winning author Ron Suskind in connection with his investigative work on the war on terror and in particular, with his most recent bestselling work, The One Percent Doctrine.
Representation of Qualcomm in numerous European acquisitions and investments including its $200 million joint venture and private equity investment with Omnia, a subsidiary of Saudi Oger, to create a UK-based company to deploy CDMA-based technology.
Representation of one of the industry’s largest rural local exchange carriers as principal outside regulatory counsel in the U.S. in connection with universal service, intercarrier compensation and broadband compliance, investigations and policymaking proceedings.
Covington is the only law firm member of the San Francisco Digital Media Advisory Council, a coalition between the City of San Francisco and a host of leading digital media and entertainment companies, including Electronic Arts, Lucasfilm, Dolby Labs, Wild Brain Entertainment, Giant Killer Robots, Dreamworks Animation and Pixar.
Representation of the Newspaper Association of America, and an 70-member media coalition, in spearheading federal legislation to establish a journalists’ privilege. We have worked closely with proponents of legislation and with Congress to suggest creative solutions to protecting the integrity of the journalistic enterprise, in both traditional and digital media, while taking into account legitimate law enforcement and anti-terrorism concerns.
Represented NextWave, other applicants and licensees, and numerous investors in connection with new spectrum ideas, purchases, auctions and new technologies in the 700 MHz, 800 MHz, and 2 GHz spectrum.
Representation of the National Football League in negotiations for digital downloads of NFL content and a wide range of other new media deals with Yahoo!, iTunes and others.
Waging on behalf of the Network Affiliated Stations Alliance and the National Association of Broadcasters a multi-year, multi-venue battle before Congress, the FCC, and the Third and D.C. Circuits Courts of Appeals on the national television ownership rule, successfully achieving a legislative reversal of the FCC’s decision.
For New Skies, a spin-off of Intelsat, we have provided FCC advice and also have handled arbitration, litigation, export control and intellectual property projects.
Assisted various financial and strategic investors in conducting due diligence reviews of PanAmSat, Hughes Network Systems, and Intelsat in connection with the sale of such companies.
On behalf of MSTV, representing the television industry on key legislative, FCC and industry issues, including, for example, negotiating a template agreement with Sprint Nextel for the migration of broadcast ENG services out of the 2 GHz spectrum, the implementation of a “hard date” for the transition to a digital-only television service, and for the process of electing and assigning final DTV channels.
Representation of Ontario Teachers Pension Fund, Providence Equity Partners and Madison Dearborn Partners in their $33 billion acquisition of BCE, Inc., the parent of Bell Canada.
Provided pre-publication review, newsgathering and subpoena defense work for television clients in some 25 states on a 24/7/365 basis. To ensure that our team is fully available to journalists around the clock, we have established technical solutions so that scripts, video clips and documents are distributed electronically to all members of our team simultaneously.
Representation of TerreStar Networks, one of the companies that won a license to offer mobile satellite service (“MSS”) in the 2 GHz band, on critical milestone compliance and MSS spectrum allocation issues.
Representation of Verizon in a dispute with the Recording Industry Association of America over the application of safe harbor provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to subscribers’ sharing of music and other content using peer-to-peer services.
Advised XM Satellite Radio on an insurance claim arising out of the solar array anomaly in its two Boeing 702 satellites and have advised a leading aerospace insurance broker on the wording of satellite-in-orbit policies.
A Covington partner testified in favor of, and played an advisory role in crafting, federal legislation to limit “libel tourism,” the practice of libel plaintiffs suing U.S. publishers abroad. The resulting legislation, the SPEECH Act, unanimously passed the House and the Senate and was signed into law in August 2010.
Advised two major national news and public affairs magazines and a national newspaper on international newsgathering and libel exposure issues. For example, we have advised on the use of hidden cameras in Africa, India and Europe. We also represented a 50-member media coalition in successfully persuading Canadian courts not to exercise jurisdiction over the Washington Post in Bangoura v. Washington Post.
Represented the Association of Public Television Stations before the D.C. Circuit, in successfully defending an FCC order providing that public television stations may use their surplus digital capacity for commercial purposes, including non-broadcast advertisements.
Representation of a major software company in the successful mediation of multi-million dollar software errors and omissions insurance claims.
Developed a litigation strategy for several members of an industry federation to challenge an advertising ban imposed by an EU directive for violations of the free speech provisions of Article 10 of the European Human Rights Convention.
Successfully defended 20th Century Fox Film Corporation and Chernin Entertainment in a federal copyright infringement lawsuit filed in the Central District of California. After extensive litigation, the case settled, with a complete walkaway and limit on future suits.
Helped structure and advise on multi-faceted sponsorship arrangements between pharmaceutical manufacturers and sports leagues.
In successfully resisting U.S. enforcement of one of the largest ICC awards in recent years, following an arbitration handled by other counsel. 458 F.3d. 172 (3d Cir. 2006).
TouchTunes Music Corporation, the largest digital jukebox manufacturer, in connection with general matters.
The Washington Post Company in connection with its sale of Newsweek.
Provided advice on sweepstakes and other commercial promotions.
Achieved a favorable settlement on behalf of a telecommunications client filing a claim against a former employee accused of breaching post-employment restrictive covenants and confidentiality obligations, as well as misappropriating trade secrets.
China counsel for Season 15 of CBS/Mark Burnett’s “Survivor” (which was shot entirely in China).
After five-month bench trial, won verdict of nearly $30 million on behalf of New Media Holdings in multinational corporate control dispute over ownership of Ukrainian television network.
Representation of Verizon Communications in several transactions, including its $3.89 billion acquisition of AOL. Also advised the company in connection with its purchase of UK-based Vodafone’s 45 percent ownership of Verizon Wireless, as well as Vodafone’s purchase of Verizon’s interest in Vodafone Italy, which was valued at $124.1 billion.
Representation of Altice N.V., in its $18 billion acquisition of Cablevision Systems Corp. and its $9.1 billion acquisition of Suddenlink.
Counseling for joint ventures for a variety of clients in media and communications, including cable channel ventures, joint ventures for video programming and content, and satellite, wireless, and broadcast joint ventures.
Representation of Facebook, Inc. in many transactions, including its $22 billion acquisition of WhatsApp, $2 billion acquisition of Oculus, and $1 billion acquisition of Instagram.
Representation of Qualcomm in connection with its acquisition of CSR plc, with filings in China, Germany, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.
Secured a significant victory for Expedia (and consumers) in its $1.3 billion acquisition of Orbitz. The DOJ closed its “second request” investigation without taking any enforcement action.
Representation of Microsoft Corp. in its $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype Communications S.à.r.l., the largest acquisition in the company’s history, in connection with its $4.5 billion acquisition of certain Nortel patents, in its $7.2 billion acquisition of the handset division of Nokia, and its $2.5 billion acquisition of Mojang, the developer of Minecraft.
Representation of Electronic Arts in its acquisition of a 19.9% stake in French game company Ubisoft Entertainment, in a transaction requiring the participation of multiple Covington offices on various corporate, antitrust and international issues.
Representation of multiple petitioners, including The New York Times Company and CBS Interactive, in an IPR proceeding (and in seven inter partes reexamination proceedings) for patents held by Helferich Patent Licensing, LLC. The patents relate to cell phone messaging and were the subject of co-pending litigation in which the requesters were defendants. In March 2014, the PTAB provided another clean sweep IPR victory when it invalidated all 41 challenged claims of the patent. Following Covington’s argument in April 2015, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed the PTAB’s decision, securing the clients’ victory.
Acted for De Persgroep as a complaining third party in the Mediahuis merger. The case was unprecedented as it resulted in a 3 to 2 merger in the newspaper sector. The merger was conditionally cleared by the new Belgian competition authority.
Covington advised Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. in its $1.3 billion acquisition of Video Games Technology Inc. (VGT). Aristocrat is a leading seller of Class III slot machines and video games bought by casinos around the world and VGT is the leading seller of Class II slot machines and video games to Native American-owned casinos in the United States. Covington regularly advises Aristocrat on antitrust transactional and other matters.
Counsel for Expedia in obtaining dismissal of all claims in MDL litigation.
Represented Media-Most, a company founded by Russian businessman Vladimir Gusinski, in the sale of its interests in the NTV broadcasting group to Gazprom.
We represented Fox Networks Group in various agreements for carriage of the Fox suite of cable networks and the Fox owned and operated broadcast television stations on various “over-the-top” Internet-based distribution platforms.
The National Football League in negotiating its $18 billion eight-year programming agreements with ABC, CBS and Fox Television, its interactive media rights/online cross-promotion and marketing agreement with AOL, CBS and Sportsline.com, and its international content distribution deal with Yahoo!
We represented the NBA in a multi-year deal to stream live NBA games in virtual reality in a partnership with NextVR, which will become the official live virtual reality partner of the NBA. During the 2016-2017 season, live VR games will first be available to NBA League Pass subscribers, with single-game purchase opportunities to follow for all VR consumers as the NextVR app becomes available on new VR devices.
We represented Pac-12 Networks in its deal with Twitter for streaming of 150 live Olympic sports events from the Pac-12 universities.
Representing CenturyLink, Inc. on communications regulatory and national security matters in connection with its acquisition of Level 3 Communications Inc. in a transaction valued at $34 billion.
January 16, 2017
LONDON—Craig Pollack and Louise Freeman have joined Covington as partners in the firm’s European Dispute Resolution practice resident in London. Mr. Pollack will also serve as co-chair of the firm’s Global Disputes Initiative with former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder and former U.S. Under Secretary of State Alan Larson.
Mr. Pollack focuses on complex high ...
January 3, 2017
WASHINGTON—Law360 has named six Covington lawyers as MVPs in their respective practice areas. The awards single out lawyers from across various practice areas based on their “success in high-stakes litigation, complex global matters, and record-breaking deals.”
The Covington lawyers recognized as Law360 MVPs are:
Shara Aranoff, International Trade. Ms. ...
December 21, 2016
SHANGHAI—China Business Law Journal has named Covington partner Weishi Li to its “A-List” of the top 100 private practice lawyers in China. Ms. Li is one of two life sciences lawyers recognized by the magazine.
China Business Law Journal’s inaugural A-list is based on interviews of in-house counsel in China and around the world, as well as partners at Chinese ...
December 21, 2016, Law360
Law360 selected Derek Ludwin as a 2016 Sports MVP and profiled his work over the past year, including his defense of the U.S. Olympic Committee against an antitrust challenge to its longtime ban on on-field advertising brought by Olympic runner Nick Symmonds through his company, Run Gum. “This is an organization that a lot of us grew up following. It’s the ...
December 15, 2016, Law360
December 1, 2016, Law360
Law360 selected Marty Myers as a 2016 Insurance MVP and profiled his work over the past year, including his representation of World Fuel Services which scored the company a $24.5 million reward for insurance coverage related to a $17 million marine cargo loss off the coast of West Africa. “Each case suggests its own strategies,” Myers says. “In part, it’s being ...
September 28, 2016, Covington Alert
Provisions of a new French law, adopted on September 28, 2016, will loosen France’s rules around videogaming contests in France, and lay down new labor regulations for professional gamers. For now, clients ought to exercise significant caution before arranging French eSports contests or entering into contracts with professional gamers in France. Even after the ...
September 19, 2016, Covington Alert
On September 13, 2016, Jun Ping Zhang (“Zhang”), former head of Harris Corporation’s (“Harris”) subsidiary in China, agreed to pay $46,000 to settle allegations by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) that Zhang knowingly authorized and facilitated bribes to Chinese government officials at state-owned hospitals and local health departments and ...
September 13, 2016, ABF Journal
Timothy Hester and Tom DeFilipps are quoted in an ABF Journal article regarding the arrival of DeFilipps to Covington. According to Hester, “Adding Tom to our Silicon Valley office is a major step forward in our plan for continued growth in California.”
DeFilipps says, “I am very pleased to join Covington’s growing California practice.” He continues, “I am ...
September 13, 2016, The Recorder
Tom DeFilipps and Doug Gibson are quoted by The Recorder in an article regarding DeFilipps’ recent move to Covington, where he will serve as chair of the West Coast corporate practice. According to DeFilipps, “Covington presented to me an opportunity to do something that sounded very interesting at this point in my career.” He continues, "I felt as though it was ...
September 13, 2016, Daily Journal
Tom DeFilipps and Doug Gibson are quoted in a Daily Journal article regarding DeFilipps’ move to Covington’s Silicon Valley office. Commenting on the draw to Covington DeFilipps says, “One of the more compelling aspects of the Covington platforms is the way it allows you to meld the strength of its regulatory practice in D.C. and non-U.S. jurisdictions, like ...
September 12, 2016
SILICON VALLEY—Tom DeFilipps has joined Covington as a partner in the Silicon Valley office and will serve as chair of the West Coast Corporate practice.
“Adding Tom to our Silicon Valley office is a major step forward in our plan for continued growth in California,” said Timothy Hester, Covington’s chair. “Tom has built a successful Northern California ...
September 12, 2016, Law360
Timothy Hester and Tom DeFilipps are quoted in a Law360 article regarding DeFilipps’ recent arrival. According to Hester, “Adding Tom to our Silicon Valley office is a major step forward in our plan for continued growth in California.” He continues, “Tom has built a successful Northern California corporate practice over many years and has a demonstrated track ...
On June 23, 2016, the UK voted in an advisory referendum to leave the European Union. The impact of Brexit in the medium-to-long term will very much depend on the form a post-Brexit UK will take, the relationship that the UK chooses to have with the EU, and the relationship that the EU is willing to accept. That will not become clear for some time as it will ...
June 24, 2016, Covington Alert
The UK has voted to leave the European Union in an advisory referendum. 52% leave - 48% remain.
Were the UK to leave the EU, this would have significant implications for the UK and for international businesses operating in the UK. The longer term impact of the decision on the regulatory framework for the UK will depend, in part, on the relationship that the UK ...
June 21, 2016, Inside Tech Media
In the context of its Digital Single Market (“DSM”) Strategy for the European Union (“EU”), the European Commission (“Commission”) published a proposal for an updated Audiovisual Media Services Directive (“AVMSD” or the “Directive”) on 25 May 2016 (the “Proposal”). In its Communication on the DSM Strategy, the Commission indicated it would review the AVMSD ...
In the context of its Digital Single Market (“DSM”) Strategy for the European Union (“EU”), the European Commission (“Commission”) published a Communication on Online Platforms and the Digital Single Market – Opportunities and Challenges for Europe (the “Communication”) on 25 May 2016. The Communication sets out the Commission’s conclusions and proposals based ...
On 25 May 2016, the European Commission (“Commission”) unveiled a package of measures in the context of its Digital Single Market (“DSM”) Strategy for the European Union (“EU”) that included four legislative proposals designed to boost e-commerce in the EU by tackling unjustified geo-blocking, cross-border parcel delivery, consumer protection and EU audiovisual ...
June 21, 2016
SILICON VALLEY—Covington advised Tencent Holdings Limited, a leading provider of internet service in China, in connection with its acquisition of a majority stake in Supercell from SoftBank. A consortium established by Tencent will acquire up to 84% of Supercell for $8.6 billion in a transaction valuing Supercell at approximately $10.2 billion.
Supercell is a ...
June 13, 2016, Inside Tech Media
By Miranda Cole, Jennifer Boudet and Jérôme de Ponsay With the European Commission’s recent Digital Single Market (“DSM”) Strategy for the European Union (“EU”) announcements (including several legislative proposals and a Communication on Online Platforms and the Digital Market), a number of the Member States are also very active on the issues. Since the German ...
June 7, 2016
WASHINGTON—Covington has again received top rankings from Chambers USA, with 60 practice rankings and 120 individual rankings for lawyers in the publication’s 2016 edition. The legal guide identifies leading lawyers and law firm practices based on interviews conducted by Chambers’ researchers with thousands of lawyers and their clients.
The firm was ranked in ...
May 31, 2016
WASHINGTON—Covington advised Graham Media Group in its definitive agreement to purchase WCWJ, the CW affiliate serving Jacksonville, FL and WSLS-TV, the NBC affiliate serving Roanoke and Lynchburg, VA, from Nexstar Broadcasting Group and Media General.
The Covington team included corporate partners Paul Rogers and Michael Cutler, with associate Adina Lord. ...
NEW YORK—Covington is advising MagtiCom Ltd., the leading mobile operator in the Republic of Georgia, on its definitive agreement to acquire retail and corporate ISP cable assets from Caucasus Online LLC. The deal is expected to close on or around August 1, 2016.
Following the successful conclusion of the transaction, MagtiCom will be the first and only operator ...
May 19, 2016
BRUSSELS — Carl Bildt, the former Prime Minister of Sweden, has joined Covington as a Senior Policy Advisor in the firm’s global Public Policy and Government Affairs practice. Most recently, Mr. Bildt served as Sweden’s Minister for Foreign Affairs between 2006 and 2014.
As Prime Minister of Sweden, Mr. Bildt led the government that negotiated and signed ...
April 20, 2016
LOS ANGELES — Covington partners Emily Henn, Robyn Polashuk and Sonya Winner have been named to the Daily Journal’s annual list of “Top Women Lawyers” in California. The list recognizes 100 lawyers who “try complex commercial disputes and put together industry-transforming deals.”
Ms. Henn, based in the firm’s Silicon Valley office, co-chairs the firm’s Class ...
April 8, 2016
NEW YORK — Covington advised Emmy and Golden Globe-winning producer Ben Silverman on the creation of Propagate Content, a media production and distribution company. A+E has agreed to fund the company with $30 million in equity and has committed to buy $15 million in scripted or unscripted projects in a five-year deal.
Propagate has already signed Will.i.am and ...
February 8, 2016
BRUSSELS — Erika Mann, a former Member of the European Parliament and policymaker with over 20 years of experience, has joined Covington in its Brussels office as a senior European policy advisor in the firm’s global Public Policy and Government Affairs practice. Most recently, Ms. Mann served as Managing Director of Public Policy for Facebook in Brussels from ...
January 21, 2016, MarketWatch
Kurt Wimmer is quoted in this MarketWatch article regarding the FAA’s decision to allow Cape Productions, a drone video startup, to fly drones hundreds of feet closer to people than previously permitted. According to Wimmer, the FAA’s approval for Cape Productions sets a “much more realistic precedent” for future commercial drone usage.
December 4, 2015, China Daily
Jason Goldberg participated in a discussion at the Asia Leadership Roundtable forum titled "The Strategic Implications for Chinese Mainland and Hong Kong's Film Industry under the IP Era." China Daily quoted Goldberg, who said, "Movie companies should think long-term how IP protection can provide income in the future.” He continued, "The awareness of IP ...
October 28, 2015, Inside Tech Media
On 27 October 2015, the European Parliament adopted the new Telecoms Single Market legislation without a number of proposed amendments relating to net neutrality. As a result, while the Regulation requires Internet service providers (“ISPs”) to “treat all traffic equally, without discrimination, restriction or interference, independently of its sender or ...
October 28, 2015, The Cybersecurity Law Report
Simon Frankel is quoted by the Cybersecurity Law Report discussing the modern interpretation of the Video Privacy Protection Act, which was first applicable to video cassette rentals in 1988. Even though it was updated in 2012, Frankel points out, “That’s sort of the broader trend – courts are really struggling with how the statute, not written for this [online] ...
October 6, 2015
NEW YORK, October 6, 2015 - Covington partner C. William Phillips has been named a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers, one of the premier legal associations in North America. Mr. Phillips is the seventh Covington lawyer among the current Fellows, joining Lanny Breuer, Robert Haslam, James McKay, John Nields, George Pappas, and Robert Sayler.
August 20, 2015
SAN FRANCISCO, August 20, 2015 — Covington advised Tencent Holdings Ltd. on its US$50 million investment in Ontario-based Kik Interactive, Inc., a messenger application with more than 200 million registered users.
Tencent is a Chinese company that provides value-added Internet, mobile and telecom services and online advertising. Its messaging app WeChat has ...
June 19, 2015, Inside Tech Media
On 17 June, the UK Competition & Markets Authority (“CMA”) published its report on the commercial use of consumer data collected by companies. The CMA began its review of the issue with a call for information in January. In short, the CMA concludes that, while consumer data presents some characteristics that sets it apart from … Continue Reading
June 8, 2015, Inside Tech Media
Digital markets are currently the focus of much attention in the European Union (“EU”). The European Commission recently unveiled its Digital Single Market Strategy, which incorporates DG COMP’s e-commerce sector inquiry. The issue of the regulation of digital markets, potentially beyond the application of competition law, is also being discussed at national ...
June 4, 2015, Inside Tech Media
The Court of Justice of the EU (‘CJEU’) has held that an exclusive choice of forum clause can validly be imposed by so-called “click-wrap” contracts in online B2B transactions (see Case C‑322/14, El Majdoub v. CarsOnTheWeb.Deutschland GmbH). The ruling will make it easier for online businesses in the EU to impose a favorable choice of … Continue Reading
May 8, 2015, Inside Tech Media
In a Public Notice released this week, the FCC’s Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau provided details regarding the procedures by which video programming distributors (including broadcasters and MVPDs) must report video programmers who refuse to provide widely available closed captioning quality certifications. The procedures described in the Public Notice ...
April 30, 2015, Inside Tech Media
The FCC Media Bureau’s designated May 29, 2015 “Pre-Auction Licensing Deadline” is rapidly approaching. Full power and Class A facilities must be licensed by this deadline in order to be eligible for protection in the repacking process that will be part of the television incentive auction. For these purposes, facilities subject to a pending application … ...
March 6, 2015
LOS ANGELES, March 6, 2015 — Covington will open a new office in Los Angeles on March 9. The office will be staffed by current firm lawyers and three new senior lawyers and will focus initially on insurance coverage, media and content distribution, patent litigation, public policy/government affairs and white collar defense.
"We believe there is a strong base ...
January 27, 2015
WASHINGTON, DC, January 27, 2015 — Covington was named one of the top 2014 “Media and Entertainment Practice Groups of the Year” by Law360.Law360 highlighted the practice for its involvement in “the most-talked-about sports media rights deals last year,” including the NFL's Sunday Ticket agreement with DirecTV, Steve Ballmer’s bid for the Los Angeles Clippers, ...
January 27, 2015, Law360
The firm is featured in this article regarding being named a "Media & Entertainment Practice Group of the Year."
"Covington & Burling LLP was involved in the most-talked-about sports media rights deals last year, including the NFL's $12 billion Sunday Ticket pact with DirecTV, and helped seal Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion bid for the Los Angeles Clippers, making ...
December 22, 2014, Luxury Legal Post
WASHINGTON, DC, November 24, 2014 — Law360 named Covington & Burling partner Doug Gibson a “most valuable player” in media and entertainment law. Law360’s “MVP of the Year” awards recognize lawyers who have had successes in record-breaking deals, high-stakes litigation, and complex global matters in the past year. In a profile on Mr. Gibson, Law360 cited his ...
November 21, 2014, Law360
Covington's Doug Gibon was named a Law360 MVP:
"Covington & Burling LLP partner Doug Gibson’s name appears on many high-profile sports industry deals, including this summer’s negotiation of former Microsoft Corp. CEO Steve Ballmer’s $2 billion purchase of the Los Angeles Clippers and the National Football League’s extension on DirecTV’s rights for NFL Sunday ...
October 6, 2014, The American Lawyer
Covington is featured in this article regarding the firm advising the National Basketball Association on a media rights deals with Walt Disney Co. and Time Warner Inc.’s Turner Broadcasting System.
"The agreement comes on the heels of the NFL's renewal of its Sunday Ticket game package with DirecTV last week. Covington counseled its longtime client the NFL on ...
London, October 9, 2014 - Covington & Burling has been selected as the winner in the Technology, Media and Telecoms category of Legal 500 UK Awards 2014, with a focus on Data Protection. Covington’s European technology, media and telecoms lawyers draw on the firm’s deep roots in the software, Internet, telecommunications and media industries and act as strategic ...
May 14, 2014, Law360
Covington partner Marty Myers is featured in this article about his recent move to the firm.
May 12, 2014, Bloomberg
Marty Myers is mentioned in Bloomberg regarding his recent move to Covington:
"Covington & Burling LLP said Martin H. Myers joined its insurance recovery practice, representing corporate policyholders in complex coverage disputes with insurers. Myers, who joins the firm as a partner in San Francisco, was previously at Jones Day."
September 3, 2013
SAN FRANCISCO, September 3, 2013 — Covington & Burling is advising Microsoft Corp. in its purchase of substantially all of Nokia’s devices & services business. Under the transaction, Microsoft will also license Nokia’s patents, and license and use Nokia’s mapping services. The total transaction price is EUR 5.44 billion in cash — or more than $7 billion.
August 15, 2013, Covington Advisory
May 6, 2013, InsideTechMedia Blog
February 26, 2013, Covington E-Alert
February 21, 2013, Law360
July 25, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC, July 25, 2012 — The Federal Communications Commission handed a decisive victory to the Tennis Channel yesterday in its discriminatory carriage lawsuit against Comcast Cable Communications, the largest distributor of video programming content.
Covington & Burling secured the victory against the largest content distributor in the nation. The ...
June 11, 2012
WASHINGTON, DC, June 11, 2012 — Chambers USA recognized 106 individual Covington & Burling lawyers and 46 Covington practice areas in the 2012 Chambers USA: America’s Leading Lawyers for Business guidebook released on June 7, 2012.
Many of the 106 Covington lawyers ranked by Chambers USA were recognized in multiple categories, resulting in a total of 131 ...
LONDON, 2 April, 2012 — Global Competition Review has selected Microsoft Corp.’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype Global S.à.r.l. as the winner in the “Merger Control Matter of the Year - Europe” category of the GCR Awards 2012. Covington’s Brussels competition team, led by partners Lars Kjølbye and Miranda Cole, advised Microsoft on competition-related aspects ...
BRUSSELS, 17 January, 2012 — Covington & Burling LLP is pleased to announce that Jean De Ruyt has joined the firm’s government affairs group as a senior European policy advisor in Brussels. Ambassador Jean De Ruyt is among the most experienced diplomats in Europe. Most recently, he served as the Permanent Representative of Belgium to the European Union and was ...
December 21, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC, December 21, 2011 — Following an eight-day bench trial, a Federal Communications Commission Administrative Law Judge ruled in favor of Tennis Channel in its discriminatory carriage lawsuit against Comcast Cable Communications.
This historic decision is the first time any independent programming network has won a discrimination case against a ...
December 8, 2011
LONDON, 8 December, 2011 — Covington & Burling LLP is pleased to announce that Kristian Wiggert has joined the firm’s European corporate group as a partner in London.
Mr. Wiggert is a US-qualified lawyer with extensive experience in cross-border financings, mergers and acquisitions, private equity and securities. His practice covers a wide range of industries, ...
November 17, 2011
SAN FRANCISCO, November 17, 2011 — Covington & Burling helped secure approval from the Federal Election Commission today for an innovative shopping program that could change the way individuals make campaign contributions by making it easier for small donors to participate in the political process.
Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., GivingSphere allows ...
November 1, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC, November 1, 2011 — For the second consecutive year, U.S. News-Best Lawyers awarded Covington & Burling the most first-tier practice rankings for Washington, DC in the “Best Law Firms” survey. The 2011-12 survey also awarded the firm 82 first-tier practice rankings, placing Covington among the top 20 firms nationwide.
Additionally, U.S. ...
May 10, 2011
WASHINGTON, SAN FRANCISCO, BRUSSELS, AND LONDON, May 10, 2011 —Covington & Burling LLP is advising Microsoft Corp. in its acquisition of Skype Global S.à.r.l., the leading Internet communications company, for $8.5 billion in cash.
Microsoft’s purchase of Skype from the investor group led by Silver Lake is expected to increase the accessibility of real-time ...
January 6, 2011
WASHINGTON, DC, January 6, 2011 — Covington & Burling LLP announced today that it plans to establish a strategic risk and crisis management practice to assist national and international businesses and their managements and boards.
Senior members of the group include former Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff; Ambassador Stuart Eizenstat; former DC ...
December 27, 2010, Covington E-Alert
LONDON, December 16, 2010 — Covington & Burling LLP has been named the "Sports, Media & Entertainment Team of the Year 2010" by Intellectual Property Magazine in recognition of the firm’s contribution to promoting and protecting the sports and entertainment-related IP rights of its clients. The award recognises Covington’s work over the past year, which has ...
September 29, 2010, Covington Advisory
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