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Specialist Guide to the

Global Leaders in Media Law Practice

The growth of interactive services spurs market growth across time shifted IPTV, live IPTV and VOD. Dominated by VOD, the IPTV market in South Korea is expected to exceed USD 7 billion by 2020, according to market research findings by Technavio.


IPTV is considered the next generation of communication and entertainment and is expected to drive market growth in the next four years.


According to Soumya Mutsuddi, lead research analyst at Technavio, “An increasing number of vendors are enhancing interactivity features such as streaming advertisements for shopping during regular programming. This is likely to increase the average subscription of IPTV during the forecast period.”


Commenting on market developments, Dong Shik Choi, a partner at Kim & Chang, said: “There is an expansion of multinational media services. The most publicised example was the Netflix entry into Korea, which was the first to provide services in this area.”


He added: “This launch was highly anticipated and closely watched by the industry. There were concerns other providers would not be able to compete with Netflix.”


Several market segments drive media developments with music, games and apps listed as key contributors to a growing market.

Mr Choi highlighted: “The Korean media industry has been active. Korean entertainment companies continue to be strong particularly because of Korean pop music and the gaming industry is also becoming very strong, with mobile apps.”


Apple is among multinationals investing in the region with the launch its Apple Music streaming service in August last year.


Other significant developments include the regulators refusal of SK Telecom’s bid to acquire the country’s largest cable television company,

CJ HelloVision.


South Korea’s Fair Trade Commission rejected the merger over concerns it could hamper competition.  

Mr Choi said: “The biggest issue this year is the denial of a telecoms acquisition with the number one TV cable in Korea. The deal was widely covered by the media and was subject to wide-spread screening.”


He added: “People thought it would become a super power in the telecoms industry. The deal did not go forward.”

SOUTH KOREA

TIER 1

The team at Bae, Kim  & Lee has in-depth industry knowledge. The firm’s client base includes broadcast companies, advertising and event promotion firms, sports associations and individual performers such as actors and athletes. The practice represents several Korean cable television content providers, US networks and leading sports and animated programming channels. Hoo Dong Lee and Kap-You Kim are the firm’s key practitioners who also advise on copyright, licensing and intellectual property transactions.


Media lawyers at Kim  & Chang advise some of the country’s most prominent clients. The firm has an established TMT division with 20 years of sector specialisation. Lawyers act for foreign broadcasting companies, online game developers and e-commerce companies. In highlighted work, the team represented iHQ, a leading Korean entertainment company and CU Media, a broadcasting programme provider, in the largest domestic transaction involving an entertainment content producer and a broadcast channel programme provider.   


Lee & Ko has two decades of industry specialisation coupled with in-depth coverage of cases connected with satellite broadcasting, online gaming and c-ecommerce. Department leader Kwang Bae Park has exceptional experience assisting clients with online regulatory issues such as privacy and advertisement. Mr Park is also an experienced litigator assisting with cases of ground-wave re-transmission between cable television companies and ground-wave broadcasting companies.


TIER 2

Hwang Mok Parks entertainment, e-commerce and communications division assists with regulatory matters, corporate transactions and litigation. Lawyers advise on sponsorship contracts in the sports and entertainment industry and negotiate copyright agreements. The firm is also involved in legislative amendments of the broadcasting act.


With a broadcasting focus, Shin & Kim routinely assists with approvals, operations and mergers and acquisitions of cable, terrestrial and satellite broadcasters. In highlighted work, the team advised on a joint venture between SBS and CNBC and represented Next Entertainment World on investment by China’s Huace Film & TV. The team also advises on privacy and copyright matters.


Yulchon acts for local and international clients from media and communications sectors. Lawyers advise on regulation and disputes regarding multi-channel pay-television platforms such as IPTV and satellite broadcasting. Other work relates to disputes and litigation between media and telecommunication corporations. Key practitioner Doil Son, who formerly served as a district court judge, focusses on mergers and acquisitions, data privacy and cyber security.


TIER 3

Copyright specialist Barun Law handles management and licensing of copyrights and related disputes. Lawyers act for entertainment and sports companies on diverse intellectual property matters. The practice brings together a range of service areas to provide extensive coverage of cases that involve antitrust, litigation and product liability


The TMT division at Yoon & Yang provides cross-practice advisory and regulatory services, working closely with the entertainment and sports practice. Lawyers provide advice on antitrust laws and intellectual property to domestic and foreign companies investing in the local media market.


Ranking and editorials

TIER 1

Bae, Kim & Lee

Kim & Chang

Lee & Ko


TIER 2

Hwang Mok Park

Jipyong  

Shin & Kim

Yulchon


TIER 3

Barun Law

Yoon & Yang

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