Telecoms and media in Israel

Erdinast, Ben Nathan, Toledano & Co.

With strengths across the full range of contentious, regulatory and commercial matters in the telecoms and media sectors, Erdinast, Ben Nathan, Toledano & Co. provides 'a level of service that makes each client feel as though they're the only one'. Headed by Modi Sherpsky, the team advises yes, the Israeli satellite TV provider, on all legal and regulatory aspects of its business, including data protection and privacy and representation before the Knesset and the Council for Cable and Satellite Broadcasting. Of particular note, Sherpsky is acting for yes in relation to its establishment of its internet-based streaming service, STINGTV. In the contentious space, Giora Erdinast is representing Partner Communications Company in a High Court claim against the Ministry of Communications concerning its policy toward Golan Communications' failure to establish independent network infrastructure. Erdinast is also defending Bezeq in a high-value claim filed by Cellcom Communications regarding interconnect charges between the companies. The team also handles M&A and antitrust mandates for media and telecoms companies, which recently included advising TMF, Yehshoua and Gitam on a high-profile merger that would create the second-largest media purchaser in Israel.

Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co

Fischer Behar Chen Well Orion & Co marries its regulatory expertise in the media and telecoms industries with strengths in antitrust, administrative and commercial litigation, IP commercialisation, and corporate transactions. Among the team's major clients is Bezeq, which is the country's largest telecoms company. Department head Yoram Bonen handles a range of legal mandates for Bezeq, including, recently, representing the client before various government bodies in hearings involving the opening up of Israel's fixed-services market. Further, Bonen represented New Channel 10 in regulatory proceedings concerning the allocation of broadcast licenses, which were held before the Knesset and industry regulators. Additionally, the team advises Google on telecoms compliance and a host of issues involving internet law and data protection laws, and also provides compliance advice to an international telecoms provider. The team is also involved in the print media industry, where it acts for clients such as Israel Hayom Newspaper, a leading daily newspaper in Israel. Ayana Neumann and Barak Glickman were made partners in 2018.

Herzog Fox & Neeman

Herzog Fox & Neeman is well known for advising multinational technology and media companies on commercial and regulatory matters in Israel. Department head Esther Sternbach has advised numerous household-name clients on issues such as wireless connectivity, the regulation surrounding OTT services and the provision of cloud services. In the telecoms space, Sternbach advises AT&T on ISP licensing issues and data requirements, while clients in the media industry include Disney Israel. The firm is especially known for its top-tier M&A practice, where it recently assisted Level 3 Communications with the Israeli regulatory approvals for its merger with CenturyLink. The team has also been involved in significant M&A, rights transactions and regulatory mandates in the domestic market. Sternbach is advising a major Israeli telecoms provider on a number of matters including requirements arising from the structural separation obligation pursuant to regulations by the Ministry of Communications. Other key clients include Google, UPS, Radio Haifa, and Storm Communications.

Krispin Rubinstein Blecher Law Offices

Krispin Rubinstein Blecher Law Offices was founded in 2018 by former partners of Goldfarb Seligman & Co. and has quickly established itself as a major player in the Israeli media and telecoms market. Regardless of industry sector, 'regulation and administrative law is at the very core of the firm'. In the telecoms space, Noga Rubinstein acts for many of Israel's most prominent media and communications companies in the full range of regulatory and litigious proceedings. Rubinstein represented Keshet Broadcasting, Reshet Media and Channel 10 in hearings concerning competition in the telecoms industry, in a tender for the distribution of channels among the three broadcasters, and in internet broadcasting rights, among other matters. Rubinstein is also acting for Golan Telecom in relation to a Supreme Court appeal concerning administrative fines imposed on the client for failure to deploy appropriate cellular infrastructure. The team also advises a well-known international telecoms company on regulatory matters associated with Israeli telecoms operations. Additional clients include Israel Audience Research Board, Herzliya Studios, and Hop! Media Group.

Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal Law Offices

Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal Law Offices services a variety of clients in the media and telecoms industries, ranging from major domestic telecoms operators to international acquirers to domestic media content providers. The department is headed by Adv Yossi Abadi, who acts for Hot Telecommunication Systems in relation to licensing and various government approvals, and advises Walla Communications on internet law, privacy and IP issues. The team is engaged by a host of domestic content providers, including Endemol Israel, The Jewish Heritage Channel, Jasmine TV, and Middle East News. Also of note, the team acted for the Israeli forum of large internet sites, which includes YNET, Globes, The Marker, and Walla!, in relation to proceedings aimed at providing financial relief for access to certain types of media content. The team is also involved in a potential M&A transaction in the telecoms industry, which would have significant market consequences if it were to come to fruition.

S. Horowitz & Co

S. Horowitz & Co has a high-profile client base in the media and telecoms sectors and attracts a steady stream of commercial, litigation and regulatory matters. Led by by team head Hagai Doron, the team is assisting Reshet-Media with a slew of disputes and regulatory mandates, including advising on the client's recent transition from franchisee broadcasting to licensed broadcasting, representing it before various regulatory bodies, assisting it with the establishment of new channels; it also advised the client on litigation spanning class actions, antitrust, administrative claims and general commercial disputes. Further, Doron advised Citynet on the establishment of the Sport ONE Channel, and routinely represents the client in regulatory proceedings. In the telecoms space, the team advised Hot Telecommunication Systems on a number of regulatory matters concerning fixed infrastructure, frequency fees and the provision of internet-based services. The team also handles commercial and regulatory mandates for Yedioth Ahronoth Group, and represents Google in disputes concerning issues such as internet law and freedom of speech.

AYR – Amar Reiter Jeanne Shochatovitch & Co

AYR – Amar Reiter Jeanne Shochatovitch & Co is engaged by large domestic telecoms providers, multinational corporates and media content providers in relation to contentious and non-contentious mandates. The team counts Partner Communications Company among its most significant clients and advises the company on licensing matters, internet law, data protection and privacy, and commercial agreements, as well as on a host of litigation. In addition, department head Eyal Roy Sage advises Microsoft Corporation on certain regulatory issues, such as those associated with voice over internet protocol services. The telecoms team also represents Israel Public Broadcasting Corporation in negotiations with the country's six main royalty collection societies, and is representing three private radio stations in a claim brought by the Association of Composers, Authors, and Publishers of Music in Israel, which seeks to increase the royalties paid for content licensed by the organisation.

ES Shimron, I Molho, Persky & Co

ES Shimron, I Molho, Persky & Co has several decades of experience in the telecoms industry, where it advises television channels and media producers, and internet and communications providers on the gamut of regulatory, administrative and commercial matters. Isaac Molho and Dov Abramowitz are key figures in the department.

Gornitzky & Co.

Gornitzky & Co. provides the full range of service to major Israeli telecoms providers and media companies, and has acted in relation to some of the market's most significant disputes, commercial transactions and regulatory initiatives. Headed by managing partner Lior Porat, the department handles litigation and certain regulatory issues for Bezeq, and also advises yes on a  host of regulatory and commercial issues such as broadcasting licenses and consumer prices and issues arising from potential amendments to the country's Telecommunications Act 1982. Moreover, Porat has advised yes on its engagements with various international content providers such as Netflix and HBO. The team is also involved in commercial litigation in the telecoms industry and has experience in M&A in the media sector; recently it acted as Israeli counsel to Comcast Corporation in relation to its bid for the acquisition of 21st Century Fox's assets. Additional clients include Bloomberg and New York Times.

Rotenberg & Co

Rotenberg & Co has particular experience in regulatory, commercial and litigation matters in the Israeli broadcast media industry. In particular, the department provides ongoing advice to Keshet Broadcasting in relation to various disputes and regulatory proceedings. Practice head Amir Vang has represented Keshet before numerous regulatory and legislative committees, and has been particularly busy in advising the client on issues associated with legislative initiatives to increase competition in the television media industry. Vang is also advising Beezz Communication Solutions on the regulatory and commercial aspects of the ongoing operation of its cloud-based platform. Additionally, the team regularly assists iCast, the Hebrew audio book project, with licensing agreements with hundreds of Israel's leading writers. In the contentious space, Moti Arad is representing Keshet Broadcasting in a number of class actions and administrative claims.

Shimony Gross & Co

Shimony Gross & Co's telecoms and media team was founded by former partners of Meitar Liquornik Geva Leshem Tal Law Offices in 2018. Since its formation, the team has attracted praise from its clients, which have noted the group's 'unique professionalism', its 'responsiveness and endless availability', and its 'extensive knowledge of the media industry'. Of particular note, the team provides ongoing advice to the content division of Hot Telecommunication Systems, where it advises on regulatory compliance and regularly handles content agreements with major producers and distributors such as HBO, National Geographic, Disney, and Netflix. Led by Eran Shimony, the team also advises Keshet Broadcasting on all of its international distribution and licensing activity, including a recent commercial agreement with Televisa, the largest mass media company in the Spanish-speaking world. Moreover, the firm assists Israeli journalists and photographers with legal advice concerning publication, broadcasting and copyrights, and also acts for Israeli production houses, including Dot Production, Movie Plus Productions, and Slutzky Communication Channels.

Yigal Arnon & Co

The team at Yigal Arnon & Co is perhaps best known for representing media content providers and Israeli telecoms operators in high-value disputes. A key figure in the department is Ruth Loven, who advises Google on a litany of matters, including alleged privacy violations, IP rights, freedom of expression and advertisements, and also helps represent the company in class actions and administrative proceedings. Also recommended is Ido Chitman, who represents clients such as Dalia Publishing and TALI - The Collecting Society of Film and Television Creators in Israel in various IP and licensing disputes. The team also handles a range of commercial litigation, insolvency mandates and derivative claims for telecoms operators, and has advised multinational technology and media groups, including IBM Corporation and Electronic Arts, on Israel-facing M&A.

Gideon Koren & Co. Law Offices & Notary

Gideon Koren & Co. Law Offices & Notary is headed by name partner Gideon Koren, who has particular expertise in the media sector and regularly advises on cross-border distribution and rights transactions as well as regulatory issues facing the broadcast media industry. In one matter, Koren is acting for London-based OBCOM in relation to the establishment of a television joint venture with Cellcom TV. Further, the team advises a number of production companies on international co-production agreements, and advises individual television format creators on IP and commercial issues arising from their creations. Other key clients include Rain Communications, Machon Meir, Playboy Israel, and Ruth Diskin Films.

Goldfarb Seligman & Co.

Goldfarb Seligman & Co. has been engaged by telecoms operators, media groups and other corporates in relation to IP licensing, M&A and capital markets transactions. Having advised Hot Mobile on the establishment of PHI Networks - a joint venture formed by Hot Mobile and Partner Telecommunications - the team was retained by PHI Networks to handle day-to-day operation matters and antitrust issues. The team also advises a multinational media group on a range of commercial matters associated with its Israeli operations. Ashok Chandrasekhar heads the international corporate and securities department, and Boaz Golan heads the antitrust group.

Shibolet & Co. with Raved, Magriso, Benkel & Co.

Shibolet & Co. with Raved, Magriso, Benkel & Co. is engaged by numerous international media content producers in relation to licensing and operational issues in Israel. Tamir Afori advises a well-known media studio on the purchase of television formats from Israeli companies, and assisted Vice Media with a licensing agreement with a domestic distribution platform. Afori also represented the Motion Picture Association in various regulatory hearings before the Knesset regarding Israeli copyright reform. Also of note, the team is advising IPTV platform Triple C on the broadcasting rights, licensing and copyright matters associated with its operation. In addition, the firm handles disputes, and Joseph Benkel is representing Cellcom and Partner Communications in a dispute with Bezeq concerning its compliance with certain regulations in its provision of cellular communications and internet services.