Technology Media Telecom

Technology, Media and Telecom

Technology has become a vital part of corporate business processes. The competition within the sector is fierce. National and international companies can strengthen their market positions by entering into strategic partnerships or by outsourcing specific ICT or business processes. Combined with the high innovation speed within the technology sector, this offers commercial opportunities for companies and government bodies. These opportunities can involve making strategic use of the Internet of Things, big data, and online and cloud solutions. Houthoff's experienced Technology, Media & Telecom team is made up of a large number of lawyers with in-depth knowledge of IT, internet, fintech, e-commerce and privacy law. Our TMT specialists understand the opportunities and risks within the technology sector. We see opportunities like the growing interest in cloud solutions among financial institutions. Houthoff assists many players in the TMT market, including internet companies, ICT providers and buyers, telecom companies and innovative tech companies. 
  • “Sources say the firm’s offering is ‘excellent’ and entails a ‘high-level service.’”
    Chambers Europe, TMT: Data Protection (2019 Edition)
  • “The lawyers have a thorough and deep understanding of the law combined with a hands-on and service-oriented approach.”
    Chambers Europe, TMT: Data Protection (2019 Edition)
  • “The practice at Houthoff is highlighted for ‘its personal approach’ and for collaborating with various specialists within the firm.”
    Legal 500, IT (2019 Edition)
  • Recommended
    Legal 500, Telecoms (2019 Edition)
  • Recommended
    Legal 500, Media and Entertainment (2019 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, IT (2019 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, IT (2018 Edition)
  • "The ‘proactive, business-oriented’ team at Houthoff is ‘very knowledgeable on all aspects of IT’."
    Legal 500, IT (2018 Edition)
  • "One client remarks on how well the IT and data team integrate with their business, describing the lawyers as 'open and accessible' and adding: 'They are like an extension of my colleagues'."
    Chambers Europe, TMT: Data Protection (2018 Edition)
  • "The team is very knowledgeable and responsive, and we rely heavily on their expertise for many projects. If one lawyer is unavailable, there are others who will step in so that projects continue seamlessly."
    Chambers Europe, TMT: Data Protection (2018 Edition)
  • Recommended
    Legal 500, Telecoms (2018 Edition)
  • "Houthoff’s practice is particularly strong in corporate work and litigation."
    Legal 500, Media and Entertainment (2018 Edition)
  • "Another client is pleased with the way the team is 'able to get deeply involved in our business model' and is also impressed with 'the supporting team and how they deal with the associates'."
    Chambers Europe, TMT (2017 Edition)
  • "One client admires the way the lawyers 'very easily broke down the case, the options and possibilities.' The same client praises the 'very high quality' of the individuals within the team."
    Chambers Europe, TMT (2017 Edition)
  • "Broad range of expertise, handling contentious and non-contentious trade mark, patent and copyright issues, with a particularly strong focus on the pharmaceutical, automotive and media industries."
    Chambers Global, Intellectual Property: General (2017 Edition)
  • First Tier firm
    Legal 500, IT (2017 Edition)

OUR EXPERTISE ON THE TMT SECTOR


Technology services are complex. This means that clear agreements are essential. Clients engage our TMT specialists to review and draft outsourcing agreements, software licences, service level agreements (SLAs), processing agreements, project agreements and agreements regarding the development of software, the purchase of hardware and the use of cloud services. Companies have become dependent on a properly functioning IT structure. This often requires extensive knowledge of IT – knowledge that more and more companies are outsourcing or insourcing. Our TMT Team works closely with our employment law specialists and has comprehensive knowledge of insourcing and outsourcing.

Strategic partnerships are more and more important. Domestic and foreign companies seek the assistance of our TMT Team in seminal mergers and acquisitions. In practice, complex IT projects have an above-average risk of failure. Our TMT specialists have the knowledge and many years of experience, including in litigation, to significantly reduce this risk. They assist and advise large national and international parties to ensure that the legal and strategic aspects of the planning and execution of these projects run smoothly.

The processing and security of personal data is important in the IT sector. Companies need to be aware of the risk of heavy fines for violations of the General Data Protection Regulation from May 2018. Our TMT Team assesses whether clients are compliant with laws and regulations.

Houthoff has an unrivalled track record as a legal adviser within the technology sector. And, thanks to our membership of the TechLaw Group, a leading international network of law firms in more than 60 countries, we can assist our clients and provide the highest quality anywhere in the world. In close collaboration with our specialists in areas such as M&A, employment law, intellectual property law, privacy law, contract law and financial regulatory law, our TMT Team can offer client solutions that ensure that our clients progress and succeed.
  • Houthoff assisted the shareholders of The Datacenter Group Nederland Holding B.V. (TDCG) with the sale of a majority stake in TDCG to investment institution DWS.

  • Houthoff advised Hexaware Technologies Ltd on the acquisition of Mobiquity Inc. Mobiquity provides digital consulting services for the world’s leading brands, such as Amazon Web Services, Rabobank, Philips, Wawa, Backbase and Otsuka. Houthoff worked jointly with Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP on this transaction.

  • Houthoff advised, together with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, Tele2 AB in connection with the exit from its joint venture with Kazakhtelecom. The net proceeds to Tele2, after deducting the existing earn-out liability, will be USD 169 million.

  • Houthoff advised Hearst with the purchase of The History Channel Iberia from its A+E Networks joint-venture partner Disney. The History Channel Iberia operates Historia, Blaze and Crimen+Investigación, which are distributed in Spain, Portugal, Angola and Mozambique.

  • Houthoff advised Telia Company, together with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, in connection with the divestment of its holding in Kcell and the dissolution of its Fintur partnership with Turkcell. Telia Company and Fintur Holdings B.V., which is jointly owned by Telia Company and Turkcell, have agreed to sell their 75% stake in the leading Kazakhstani telecommunications operator Kcell JSC to the telecom operator Kazakhtelecom JSC for USD 446 million. Telia Company has also signed an agreement to acquire Turkcell's 41.45% stake in Fintur, which will make it Fintur's sole shareholder.
  • Houthoff represented The Datacenter Group in the acquisition of two data centers from Rabo Bouwfonds Communication Infrastructure Fund and the refinancing of The Datacenter Group.

  • Houthoff represented Ease2pay in its acquisition of the business of MyOrder, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the major Dutch bank Rabobank. The acquisition combines the mobile fueling- and parking solutions of both companies, resulting in a combined network of over 600 fueling stations and 116 cities where customers can pay with one mobile app for their fuel and street parking.

  • Houthoff represented the shareholders of Plaxinvest B.V. on the sale of their interest in Plaxinvest B.V. to Bentley Systems, Inc. Plaxinvest is the parent company of the Plaxis Group, the leading provider of geotechnical software. This strategic acquisition by Bentley, leading global provider of comprehensive software solutions for advancing infrastructure, serves to make Bentley a complete source for geotechnical professionals.

  • Houthoff advises Tofane Global on the acquisition of iBasis from KPN. This acquisition is the first milestone in the intended strategy of the Paris-based company. By means of acquisitions and digital transitions, Tofane Global aims to become the market leader in worldwide telephone services. After the completion of the acquisition, Tofane Global and iBasis will continue to work with KPN as strategic partners.
  • Houthoff advised together with Sullivan & Cromwell LLP, Telia Company in connection with the divestment of its holding in Azertel. Fintur Holdings B.V., jointly owned by Telia Company and Turkcell, has agreed to sell its 51.3% holding in Azertel, sole shareholder of the Azeri telecommunications operator Azercell, to Azintelecom, a company wholly owned by the Republic of Azerbaijan. The agreed price for Fintur’s 51.3 percent in Azertel is EUR 222 million.
  • Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., the world leader in serving science, acquired Phenom-World, a leader in desktop scanning electron microscopy (SEM) solutions. Thermo Fisher will integrate the business into Thermo Fisher's Analytical Instruments segment. Based in Eindhoven, the Netherlands, Phenom-World delivers desktop SEMs, and imaging and analysis packages, for research and industrial markets. The addition of Phenom World's leading desktop SEM platform strengthens Thermo Fisher's leadership in electron microscopy.
  • Houthoff is representing the association of realtors, VBO Makelaar, in ongoing civil proceedings before the court of Amsterdam against Funda. Funda is the largest online real estate portal in the Netherlands and a subsidiary of the largest association of realtors in the Netherlands, NVM. The case is one of the few Dutch cases based on abuse of dominance. The case revolves around discriminatory practices by Funda to the detriment of VBO Makelaar's members.
  • The team advises on the handling of HR data (centralised HR databases in and outside the EU), whistle blower procedures, data breach notifications, employee internet and email codes and the transfer of personal data to countries outside the EU for various corporate activities.
  • Advising several major car manufacturers and importers on the processing of big data, generated by state of the art cars, for safety and security purposes and for marketing and other commercial purposes.
  • Advised Balderton Capital (one of the leading technology investors in Europe) on an investment round in 3DHubs, 3D printing community portal matching demand and supply for 3D printing services.
  • Advising Ohpen, an IT service provider for the financial services industry, in a cloud based investment portfolio administration outsourcing for a Dutch financial institution.
  • Assisting construction multinational Volker Wessels with its global IT and cloud services purchasing agreement with Microsoft.
  • Advised Media-Saturn-Group, Europe’s number one consumer electronics retailer, on the acquisition of a majority stake in Dutch flash sales and live shopping platform iBOOD.com.
  • Represents Ster, a Dutch advertising company for public broadcasting, in the investigation of The Dutch Media Authority. The public broadcaster NOS has received a penalty of EUR 1 million by modifying their agreements with sports channel Fox Sports. The Dutch Media Authority has determined that NOS has not violated the Media Act. Nevertheless, other parties, such as Ster, will be looked into in order to determine whether they have followed the legal requirements.
  • Represented telecom provider T-Mobile Netherlands against a former agent of T-Mobile in a landmark case on agency law before the Supreme Court and the referral Amsterdam Appeal Court. After the Supreme Court set the rules for calculating the due goodwill fee after termination of an agency agreement, the Amsterdam Court of Appeal decided on the goodwill fee due in this specific matter.

Publications

Thomas de Weerd

Key Contact

Amsterdam
Advocaat | Partner
+31 20 605 69 85
+31 6 5165 9208