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. 

  • recommendation people shaking hands
    Clients note the depth of the firm's team and enthuse that strong expertise is present throughout: "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, TMT: IT& IT Outsourcing (2018 Edition)
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    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, TMT: IT& IT Outsourcing (2018 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    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)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    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)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "Advises on technology transactions and litigation, with recent work relating to 3D printing and design, the Internet of Things, cloud services and online on-demand video. Also noted for expertise in privacy and outsourcing matters. Particularly active lately in the automotive sector."
    Chambers Europe, TMT (2016 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    First Tier firm.
    Legal 500, IT (2017 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    First Tier firm.
    Legal 500, IT (2016 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "Broad practice winning particular recognition for work on high-profile media disputes. Strong choice for IT transactions and outsourcing. Also advises clients on issues related to cloud computing, online on demand video and data protection."
    Chambers Europe, TMT (2015 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "The team's advice is very clear, easily understandable and very thorough."

    Chambers Europe, TMT (2015 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "This team is really good; the lawyers are practical and responsive."
    Chambers Europe, TMT (2015 Edition)
  • recommendation people shaking hands
    "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)


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 advises Tofane Global on the acquisition of iBasis from KPN. Tofane Global, a new player in the telecom and digital services market, acquires KPN subsidiary iBasis. 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. The transaction is not subject to any conditions, such as regulatory or competition approvals, and has been completed.

  • 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 and expands the company's entry-level and desktop SEMs offerings for customers working in the materials science, industrial manufacturing, life sciences and electronics industries.

  • Dassault Systèmes, a developer of 3D design and engineering software, acquired AITAC B.V., which, together with its subsidiaries, develops marine and offshore engineering software.

    The acquisition allows Dassault Systèmes to strengthen its marine and offshore portfolio.
  • Houthoff advised Media Markt – Saturn on the establishment of a joint venture with Talpa, Juke Nederland B.V. Juke has launched an online on-demand music streaming service offering unlimited access to songs, playlists and radio content.
  • 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, including:

    - ranking listings of VBO Makelaar’s members systematically lower than listings of NVM’s members.

    - charging VBO Makelaar’s members significantly higher prices for advertisements than NVM’s members.
  • Houthoff advised Yealink Network Technology Corp Ltd on the Dutch law aspects of its successful IPO on the Shenzhen Stock Exchange. Founded in 2001, Yealink is a leading global unified communication (UC) terminal solution provider that primarily offers video conferencing systems and voice communication solutions.
  • The privacy team assists companies on data protection compliance in connection with disclosure requests from Dutch investigation authorities, US civil litigation, US enforcement agencies such as OFAC, FTC and SEC, as well as under the UK Bribery Act.
  • Assisting technology start-up Trakkies, which offers Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, on various IT and corporate matters.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • There are several ongoing projects advising clients on the compatibility of hiring US IT providers with current and future EU privacy rules. Prior to the NSA revelations, customers in the banking and health care sectors expressed concern about the possibility of US investigative authorities using powers under the US Patriot Act and similar legislation to obtain access to their personal data through their US IT providers.
  • 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.
  • Representing broadcasting company SBS before the Supreme Court in a case concerning defamation and breach of a settlement agreement. The case concerns the broadcast of the image of a family member of a prisoner sentenced for commissioning an assassination in a promo for a crime reporter's program on television, contrary to a settlement agreement. In this matter, Thijs is engaged by the lawyer for SBS who represented SBS in first instance and appeal, Ms Schaap of Visser, Schaap & Kreijger.
  • 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
  • Representing broadcasting company BNN-Vara in Supreme Court litigation against telecom company Pretium. In summary proceedings, BNN-Vara was ordered to remove a broadcast about Pretium from its internet archives on pain of penalty for each day the broadcast was still available. BNN-Vara, after taking all reasonably required measures, was unaware of the fact the broadcast had not been removed due to an unforeseen technical error. Opposing party Pretium was aware of this but chose to withhold this information from BNN-Vara, thereby allowing the daily penalties to increase. Therefore, the case concerns the question under what circumstances the right to claim incremental penalties incurred by the opposing party, is abused and under what circumstances this right may be limited.
  • Advised eBay and Marktplaats on the acquisition of, a Dutch leader in the online sale of new cars.
  • Advising the receivers of DSB Bank (the largest Dutch financial institution ever to file for bankruptcy) on a dual service provider BPO outsourcing transaction regarding DSB Bank's long-term arrears portfolio.
  • Represents Ster, a Dutch advertising company for public broadcasting, in the investigation of The Dutch Media Authority (Het Commissariaat voor de Media - CvdM). 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.


Thomas de Weerd

Key Contact

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