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Specialist Guide to the
Global Leaders in Media Law Practice
Mergers and exits characterise media development in Lithuania this year while the promotion of Russian-language content in the Baltic region takes shape.
Swedish Modern Time Group (MTG) is selling its Baltic state operations to Providence Equity Partners in a EUR 115 million deal. Announced in March, the sale includes three of Lithuania’s television channels, TV3, TV6 and TV8.
Robert Sudo, Managing Director at Providence said: “Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia are all among the fastest growing countries in the EU.
“The business friendly environment combined with a highly skilled workforce make the Baltics an exciting region for us. We are looking forward to working together with MTG Baltic’s management and employees over the coming years.”
Telia, a Nordic telco, merged its Lithuanian operations into a single company, increasing its presence in the television segment.
Announced in February, Teo, Omnitel and Baltic Data Center will now operate together under the Telia Lietuva brand, offering telecoms, IT and television services.
Henriette Wendt, head of Denmark, Estonia and Lithuania at Telia said: “By merging our Lithuanian operations we are optimising their business
potential with the ultimate aim of adding value for our customers. Telia is the undisputed leader in broadband services and owns the most advanced 4G network that covers 99 per cent of Lithuania. Telia Lietuva is ready for any challenges to come.”
Meanwhile, Germany plans to help Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania establish Russian-language media outlets. German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel spoke during a panel discussion in Munich, held in February, about ways to counter the spread of alleged “systematic disinformation” by Russian channels broadcasting in the Baltic region.
According to Foreign Office spokesperson Martin Schaefer, the aim of the initiative would be to “employ what we already started last year in the Baltic states, which is - as we say in new German - handling Russian 'fake news' together with appropriate partners".
Mr Schaefer highlighted plans to create Russian-language radio and television channels that would produce news “in a different way” to Russian outlets, providing content that is "attractive to Russian speakers living in the three Baltic states".
Sorainen handles a full spectrum of matters connected with media sector cases, inducing tax and IT services, project financing and employment matters. Head of division Stasys Drazdauskas has more than a decade of experience that includes media-related dispute resolution, arbitration and advice on data protection. The firm is appointed by leading media companies including Google, Skype, Modern Times Group and Nordic Gaming.
TGS Baltic has high market visibility, matched by its extensive experience. Managed by Gediminas Lisauskas, the team advises on licensing, regulation, advertising and intellectual property related to broadcasting. In representative work, the firm assisted a leading international entertainment broadcasting group with one of the biggest disputes over the alleged infringement of authors’ rights in Lithuania. In other work the team advised the BBC on a multi-million film finance project.
Ellex Valiunas has a long-standing focus on the media and entertainment industries. Known for its high profile client base, the firm handles complex commercial disputes, advises on non-competition agreements and assists with the sale of television and radio stations. Key partners include Vytautas Mizaras and Jaunius Gumbis whose work involve IP and IT law. In highlighted work the team represented leading Lithuanian basketball players in a complex multi-jurisdictional dispute.
Cobalt has vast involvement in regulatory aspects of media sector cases. The team advises on regulatory frameworks of electronic communications and broadcasting. Lawyers also assist with copyright, privacy, licensing and data protection. Irmantas Norkus, who manages the practice, has 15 years of experience advising high-profile clients. The firm’s clients include radio, television and print media companies.
Glimstedt assists media and telecoms operators with online defamation, advertising and e-commerce. The team drafts privacy policies, internal corporate documentation relation to technology, data protection and planning strategies. Other areas of work include advice on juridical and extra-judicial settlements of disputes. Led by litigation specialist Egidijus BernotasEgidijus Bernotas, the team handles cross-border regulatory issues and acts for institutional investors.
Primus is active in multiple cases relating to broadcasting. The firm is appointed by a number of Estonian radio and television broadcasting companies in relation to licensing, operation of stations, IP matters and dispute resolution. Led by Gediminas Pranevičius, the team acted for Estonian cable operator Starman in negotiations with television network operator Levira. The case involved the establishment of a digital terrestrial television network.
AAA Law’s media work stems from its focus on intellectual property and technology. Managing partner Otilija Klimaitienė leads the team in its work on intellectual property management and protection, advice on author’s rights and defense of breached rights. The team also handles online disputes, data protection and the regulation of e-commerce and electronic advertising.
The media and communications team at Eversheds Saladžius advises on national and EU regulatory compliance and notably on convergence in telecommunications, broadcasting and online segments. Clients include a US-based data communications distributor and a British television quiz producer.
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