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Technology, Media & Telecommunications

“The team are well prepared for every key issue relating to IT business in Korea
and always try to provide timely and efficient consultation, offering adequate alternatives.”
– Chambers Asia Pacific 2019

Overview

Technology, Media & Telecommunications Practice has been advising multinational and Korean companies in the fields of information technology, telecommunications, and broadcasting on the full spectrum of Korean legal and regulatory issues, and has grown to include more than 100 lawyers with unparalleled expertise in those industries.  Based on our knowledge and experience, we offer a one-stop shop for all needs of our clients.

Based on the expertise of our individual professionals with diverse backgrounds, our unmatched experience and expertise in cross-border transactions, creative solutions based on our understanding of cutting-edge technologies, and organic collaboration with other practices within the firm, we are able to provide comprehensive and effective solutions tailored to each client.

Key Servicesshow

Mergers & Acquisitions

The Korean broadcasting, telecommunication and IT industries are highly regulated markets.  A successful M&A involving a broadcasting , telecommunication or an IT company requires careful deal structuring centered on a variety of licensing and regulatory issues that can and will arise.  Our Technology, Media & Telecommunications Practice has been advising all major Korean and international telecommunication companies and broadcasting companies on all aspects and forms of M&A transactions, including joint ventures, share transfers and asset transfers.  We also provide investment-related advice to major investment banks, private equities, internet service providers, content providers, broadcasters, e-businesses, semiconductor manufacturers, software developers, equipment manufacturers and technology developers who are looking for an investment opportunity in the broadcasting or telecommunication market.

 

Regulatory Filings and Licensing

Our Practice advises multinational broadcasting and telecommunication companies who seek to enter the Korean market by assisting them to obtain the appropriate broadcasting or telecommunication licenses.  We provide advice on regulatory issues that affect the day-to-day operations in Korea.  We continuously monitor and advise clients in a timely manner on the new developments in Korean laws and regulations so that our clients can best adapt to regulatory changes and have the opportunity to provide feedback to the regulatory bodies for a more reasonable regulatory environment.

 

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Our Technology, Media & Telecommunications Practice has been the leading advocate in Korea for major domestic and international players in the broadcasting and telecommunication industries, successfully representing them in civil and criminal litigation and administrative proceedings.  Our landmark successes include major antitrust lawsuits, civil and criminal cases involving privacy and data breach issues, and intellectual property cases in Korea.  We also assist our clients in responding to investigations by regulatory bodies and in resolving disputes between market participants.  Our dedication to clients has earned us the reputation as the leading experts in resolving complex disputes between private sector entities or those involving governmental authorities.

 

Broadcasting and New Media

Our Practice advises numerous broadcasting companies, including terrestrial, radio, CATV, satellite broadcasters, and program providers.  The Korean broadcasting industry regulation particularly emphasizes benefit to the public and diversity of programs and a comprehensive legal service in this industry requires the understanding of the regulatory regime and its purposes from multi-dimensional perspectives as our firm does.  In addition to the traditional broadcasters, we also provide legal and regulatory advice to the new media companies, such as IPTV and OTT service providers.

 

E-Commerce and Content Services

The explosion of online commercial transactions in Korea has been raising a number of legal issues, and the regulatory bodies regularly scrutinize the industry and market practices.  These regulatory bodies are also enacting new laws and regulations to protect consumers in e-commerce transactions.  Growth and evolution of goods and services being traded over the Internet also means that there are more disputes relating to the online contents being purchased, and it is raising antitrust, intellectual property and other novel issues.  Our Technology, Media & Telecommunications Practice is always analyzing new laws and regulations to provide the most current and practical advice to our clients.  We also advise those clients who are thinking of entering the market on structuring the most legally sound and efficient business models.

Key Experiencesshow

IT (Information Technology)

Based on our understanding of the various laws and regulations regarding telecommunications, radio waves, electronic equipment, etc., our Practice advises and represents major international and domestic IT companies that manufacture hardware and software, cooperating with many professionals in various fields, such as e-commerce, fair trade, import and export permissions, and intellectual property.

 

Broadcasting and Media

Our Practice advises a wide range of international and domestic media companies, including terrestrial TV broadcasters, cable TV broadcasters, program providers, and other paid TV broadcasters, on various regulatory issues related to licensing, and we also represent clients in different lawsuits and administrative proceedings. 

 

Telecommunications

Based on our experience and accumulated knowledge in regulatory clearances, content regulation, privacy regulation and e-commerce, etc., our Practice has represented major international and domestic telecommunications companies, including cable/wireless service providers, internet service providers and e-commerce businesses. 

 

Convergence and New Trends

Our Practice provides in-depth, specialized legal advisory services based on our preemptive analysis on future technologies for various international and domestic companies in new fields such as smart devices, cloud computing, IoT, connected cars, and block chains.

 

The Technology, Media & Telecommunications Practice is a pioneer in its area, advising clients for 30 years on the most well-known transactions, licensing, investments and disputes in Korea.

 

Transactions
  • Advised NXC on its acquisition of Korbit. 
  • Advised DoubleUGames on its acquisition of DoubleDown Interactive. 
  • Advised SK Hynix on the Korea-US Alliance Consortium (which included SK Hynix)’s acquisition of Japan’s Toshiba memory.
  • Advised TPG Consortium on its quota investment in Kakao Mobility. 
  • Advised Netmarble on its acquisition of Kabam.
  • Advised DoubleUGames on its acquisition of online gaming business of IGT. 
  • Advised Alibaba (Ant Financial) on its investment in Kakao Pay. 
  • Advised NBC Universal on its investment in Korea. 
  • Advised C&M, the second largest multiple cable TV system operator in Korea, on the acquisition of Gangnam Cable TV and Ulsan Cable TV, followed by the sale of Ulsan Cable TV.
  • Advised Sony Pictures on the creation of a joint venture with C&M.
  • Advised LG Telecom on the merger with its affiliate.
  • Advised KT Corp. on the merger with its affiliate.
  • Advised MBK Partners on its acquisition of a majority interest in C&M.
  • Advised eBay on its acquisition of Internet Auction.
  • Advised eBay on its acquisition of GMarket.
  • Advised British Telecom on its acquisition of an equity interest in LG Telecom.
  • Advised Newbridge & AIG Consortium on its acquisition of Hanaro Telecom, Korea’s second largest broadband internet company.
  • Advised Goldman Sachs on the acquisition and sale of C&M.
  • Advised Siemens on its acquisition of Dasan Networks.
  • Advised Pantech on its acquisition of SK Teletech.
  • Advised NTT DoCoMo in connection with its interest in KT Freetel.
  • Advised Echostar LLC on its purchase of an equity interest in TU Media, the only Korean satellite DMB company.
  • Advised Turner Broadcasting System on establishing two joint venture companies with Joongang Broadcasting Company.
  • Advised Affinity Equity Partners on the share purchase of Korea Digital Satellite Broadcasting, the largest satellite broadcasting company in Korea that operates Skylife channels.

 

Filing/Licensing Matters and Regulatory Advisory Services
  • Advised Twitch on various regulatory issues with regard to its service launch in Korea. 
  • Advised Netmarble on its stock listing.
  • Advised Mercedes Benz Korea on obtaining its special-value telecommunication service registration.
  • Advised Mobike on various regulatory issues with regard to its service launch in Korea. 
  • Advised KT on its issuance of dollar bonds abroad. 
  • Advised Google on its launch of YouTube Red in Korea.
  • Advised Google Payment Korea on obtaining pre-payment service license.
  • Advised an affiliate of Google Korea on obtaining payment gateway service registrations and location information-based service approval.
  • Advised LG Uplus, the third largest mobile telecommunication company in Korea, on an LTE spectrum auction.
  • Advised various telecommunication companies on the enactment of the IPTV Law and its subordinate regulation.

 

Disputes
  • Represented LG Uplus in administrative cases arising from its unfair practices.
  • Represented Lotte Home Shopping in administrative cases arising from its unfair practices.
  • Represented LG Uplus in criminal cases arising from its violation of the act on improvement of distribution structure of smart devices. 
  • Represented major internet portal companies, e-commerce companies and game companies in administrative investigations and civil and criminal cases arising from data breach.
  • Represented Google and Daum Communication in criminal cases relating to the collection of personal information.
  • Represented KT in an administrative investigation and civil case relating to interconnection fee.
  • Represented Korea Communications Commission in an administrative case relating to the cessation of 2G service by KT.
  • Represented representative of Kakao in a criminal case relating to OSP’s responsibility to takedown child pornography
  • Represented NCSoft in civil and criminal cases arising from the theft of online game IDs. 
  • Represented KT and Hanaro Telecom before the Korea Fair Trade Commission in an investigation of alleged cartel activities and appeal of the administrative fine.
  • Represented Onse Telecom before the Korea Communications Commission in a dispute with LG Powercomm related to internet connection charges.
  • Represented LG Telecom before the Korea Communications Commission against KT and KT Freetel, for allegations of illegal actions related to the PCS resale business.
  • Represented Hanaro Telecom against cable television companies’ criminal allegations relating to Korea’s first launch of IPTV services.

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