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Industry Overview


In the rapidly changing telecommunications industry, Cravath tackles the full range of high value opportunities and legal challenges faced by our clients. We have represented prominent telecommunications companies in a variety of corporate and litigation matters that have indelibly transformed the sector.

The Firm’s Corporate Department represents telecommunications companies in their mergers and acquisitions, banking and credit matters, capital markets transactions and other complex financing transactions, as well as tax, strategic intellectual property, and corporate board advisory work. Cravath’s Litigation Department routinely works with telecommunications clients on antitrust matters, including both regulatory clearance and litigation; takes patent and trade secret cases to trial; handles governmental and internal investigations; and litigates securities fraud, general commercial and appellate matters.

Over the years, Cravath has represented clients in some of the most transformative transactions in the telecommunications industry: Time Warner in its $109 billion acquisition by AT&T; Sprint in its $35 billion merger with Nextel; Lucent in its $20 billion acquisition of Ascend; the independent directors of MCI Inc. in its $7.5 billion acquisition by Verizon and competing bid by Qwest; Crown Castle International in its $7.1 billion acquisition of Lightower; and Cincinnati Bell in converting its data center into a REIT described as “first‑of‑its‑kind” by the Financial Times and its subsequent carve‑out IPO of CyrusOne.

Cravath also handles major litigation for telecommunications companies. As principal antitrust and patent litigation counsel for Qualcomm, Cravath has represented the company in numerous matters, including in multijurisdictional licensing and patent litigation with Nokia. The settlement reached in these matters triggered a $12 billion overnight increase in Qualcomm’s market capitalization. Cravath currently represents Qualcomm in two separate antitrust actions arising out of the development of the next‑generation 4G LTE international cellular standard, as well as defending Qualcomm in high‑value patent actions. Cravath won summary judgment for Sprint Nextel and its former officers and directors in a securities class action in Kansas federal court regarding alleged fraudulent statements concerning long‑term employment contracts that Sprint had entered into with its former CEO and President. We also defended Deutsche Telekom in federal securities class action litigation arising out of the company’s June 2000 €13 billion equity offering and $33 billion acquisition of VoiceStream Wireless announced in July 2000.

Our clients have included Cincinnati Bell, CommScope, Crown Castle International, CyrusOne, Deutsche Telekom, EMBARQ, Frontier Communications, HTC, Qualcomm, Rogers Communications, Royal KPN, Sprint Nextel and Time Warner.