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Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
The Dutch media sector is as dynamic as ever. The proposed tie-up of RTL and Talpa is prohibited, the upcoming auction of FM frequencies will shake up the radio landscape and the ACM considers whether the largest cable operator should open its network.
In its annual Media Monitor, the Dutch Media Authority finds that Dutch audiences enjoy a broad online and offline media offering from national and international players. “Cord cutting” has not yet taken off as most viewers still watch television via the large distributors, although subscription rates are under pressure from the increased availability of on demand content.
News consumption seems to shift to some extent to social media, especially among the young. Meanwhile the large Dutch media players such as DPG Media, Mediahuis, RTL and Talpa have to compete head on, especially in the ever more important digital domain, with the large international platforms and on-demand providers who by now capture 80% of digital ad revenue; at the same time press publishers have by now formally established a collecting society to enforce their press publishers right vis-à-vis the platforms.
The international and big tech competition was the driver behind the proposed merger of the two largest commercial broadcasters RTL and Talpa.
However, following a critical first-phase decision in early 2022 and a protracted investigation, the Authority Consumers and Markets ACM finally prohibited the tie-up, as it considered that the combination would be too dominant vis-à-vis distributors and advertisers, after it rejected publisher Mediahuis’ proposed acquisition of Talpa’s advertising business as a remedy. Market observers are keen to see how the sector will re-orient itself to the new situation and speculate on potential new transactions.
Another landmark development is the upcoming auction of commercial radio frequencies, which will result in a reshuffle of the radio landscape as of 01 September 2023.
Both established players and newcomers will be keen to either hold on to their position or to gain a foothold in this commercially important market;
what seems certain is that, on the advice of the ACM, radio market leader Talpa will have to give up at least one of its current four licenses.
After formalising commitments of KPN and its subsidiary Glaspoort regarding access for competitors to their optic fiber networks, the ACM continues to investigate possible local network access regulation to the network of KPN’s largest competitor, cable operator VodafoneZiggo, also on the basis of the new symmetrical access regime under the EU communications code.
The ACM also imposed a penalty order on Apple regarding its app store conditions and enforced the EU rules on consumers’ freedom to choose a modem of router. The ACM also published guidance on compliance with the platform-to-business regulations that it will enforce, as well as acted against false likes and followers on influencer websites.
Following a surge of advertising after the opening of the online gaming market in October 2021, the government now proposes to significantly restrict advertising for legal online offering, raising concerns in the sector for a level playing field, with legal operators fearing that illegal providers will be able to win back customers.
Finally, the courts remain busy with a broad range of media-related matters. The Amsterdam District Court issued a landmark decision against Facebook in one of the many pending data protection class action cases.
The phenomenon of online “juice channels” and the limits of what qualifies as journalism were put to the test in a number of cases where well-known personalities sought (and partly succeeded) in obtaining injunctions against what they considered unsubstantiated gossip.
Jacqueline Schaap and Paul Kreijger
Visser Schaap & Kreijger
Brinkhof’s leading position is derived from its comprehensive coverage of media law, from press law and sports to advertising and entertainment. The team handles national and international cases that involve strategic commercial and contractual aspects. The team also advices on production and distribution matters and handles litigation.
bureau Brandeis specialises in litigation, with a focus on complex and international disputes. The firm has a dedicated team of around 15 lawyers that know the world of media & entertainment inside out. Being seasoned litigators, the lawyers at bureau Brandeis not only know why most conflicts arise and how to avoid them, but help you win them if you have to. bureau Brandeis' experience in the media & entertainment industry is unrivalled in the EU. The firm is a leading player with regard to IP and contractual matters related to music, books, film, television and new media.
Kennedy Van der Laan is a distinguished name in the legal market, noted for its specialist advice on IP and media law. Freedom of speech and copyright law are among core focus areas of the firm. The firm’s media team is recognised for his extensive experience acting for national and international broadcasters, newspaper and book publishers, television producers as well as technology companies and network operators.
AC&R is a boutique firm fully dedicated to soft IP (trademarks, copyrights and design rights) and media law. AC&R was established in January 2023 by Anne Bekema, Laura Broers, Arnout Groen and Jesse Hofhuis. The partners have extensive experience in handling the most prominent and complicated soft IP matters in the Netherlands and Europe and have a strong track record in the Dutch Media industry. By joining forces, the team of 10 lawyers at AC&R is able to provide practical solutions (steering away from legal difficulty) where possible and cutting-edge legal advice (exploring the boundaries of the law) where needed.
Composed of highly experienced lawyers, Visser Schaap & Kreijger is a leading firm for media, competition and IP legal advice and litigation. Jacqueline Schaap is the firm’s freedom of speech expert who has been involved in pioneering cases regarding defamation, the use of hidden cameras and formats. Working with renowned IP expert Dirk Visser, Jacqueline also advises on film contracts and handles disputes relating to television broadcasting. Patty de Leeuwe joined the partnership in 2022 and has a strong practice in IP enforcement and media. Joint founder Paul Kreijger advises on regulation, competition, data protection and electronic media.
Media and intellectual property boutique firm Boekx Advocaten has significant experience litigation on behalf of celebrities and private individuals in cases of defamation, libel and image rights. Established in 2005, the practice has a strong client base that includes newspaper and magazine publishers, internet companies, television networks and advertisers. The team has extensive experience with corporate and commercial transactions in the publishing segment and has advised clients from multimedia organisations and cable television.
Lawyers at Hoogenraad & Haak have in-depth knowledge of digital media, film, television, music and social media. The team advises on content-driven collaborations and proceedings for publishers, artists and producers of music.
Van Kaam’s media division has a distinguished reputation for successful defense in cases of defamation. As noted by one client, “They are thorough negotiators, very knowledgeable in the field of civil defamation cases and have an excellent track record in these matters.” The firm also successfully represented RTL Nederland in summary injunction proceedings related to a television production.
Bird & Bird’s strength in media is rarely disputed. The practice handles high profile defamation cases involving public figures, assists international entertainment networks with acquisitions of multiple television channels and represents public broadcasters in injunction proceedings. The team handles a range of cases involving his core areas of specialisation - misleading advertising and freedom of expression.
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek has a distinguished reputation for its sector dedication. Highly regarded by peers, the practice provides advice on a full range of media and entertainment matters. The team has extensive litigation experience nationally and globally. In highlighted work the lawyers assisted Royal Dutch Football Association with a broad range of sports law matters including image rights, television rights and transfer issues.
Entertainment, advertising and copyright feature as core practice areas at De Vos & Partners. The mid-sized practice is involved in test cases involving copyright protection of digital products and the portrait rights of paid footballers in connection with broadcasting images of football matches on television.
Houthoff maintains a strong local position with cable and telecommunications at the core of its focus. With experience advising on regulatory matters, lawyers supervise projects involving The Netherlands Authority for Consumers & Markets (ACM). The practice is appointed by national and international publishers, film and television production companies.
Hoyng Rokh Monégier covers new media, entertainment and advertising. The firm’s media and IP practice in Amsterdam and advises on matters including copyright and regulation. The team has significant experience working on cases connected with television formats, database rights, online betting as well as unfair competition.
Baker McKenzie’s assistance in the area of media law includes advertising, market regulation, defamation and unfair competition. The team works on cases handled by the IP and media practice group, which include multi-jurisdictional transactions.
CMS focusses on sports and data protection, with a separate division for each. Sports is among the firm’s core areas of expertise. Lawyers assist with sponsoring, portrait rights or transfers. The team works on a range of sector-related cases that include privacy and copyright elements.
International firm NautaDutilh has a long-standing presence in the market with offices in neighbouring jurisdictions. The TMT practice provides clients with over two decades of experience of advising and litigating in commercial and regulatory matters.
The Amsterdam TMT division at Clifford Chance, provides transactional and regulatory advice on mergers and acquisitions, compliance, antitrust and competition. The firm focusses on cross-border work connected with sports, intellectual property, public policy and regulation
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer specialises in all aspects of media, IP and IT. The Amsterdam office has a primary focus on corporate and transactional matters. Working on multi-jurisdictional cases, the team assists media clients on issues including regulation, data protection and advertising law.
International media work at Greenberg Traurig includes entertainment, gaming, sports and marketing. The firm’s local emphasis on media incorporates copyright law, contractual aspects and litigation. The IP and entertainment group specialises in copyright law and is known for its litigation services. The firm is also highlighted for its work with gaming industry clients.
Kennedy Van der Laan
Hoogenraad & Haak
Bird & Bird
De Brauw Blackstone Westbroek
De Vos & Partners
Dikhoff Van Dongen
Hoyng Rokh Monegier
Allen & Overy
Simmons & Simmons
Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
RANKING AND EDITORIALS
REGIONS WE COVER
Middle East and North Africa
Central and Eastern Europe