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Expertise / Sectors / Communications
Widely acknowledged for its involvement in major transactions in this space….
Client comment, Chambers Canada: Canada’s Leading Lawyers for Business 2017

Globalization and technology have resulted in extraordinary changes to the structure and regulation of the Canadian communications industry over the past decade. This country’s long-standing regulatory approach to communications, founded on the promotion, development and distribution of Canadian programming, is being influenced by international service providers offering content distribution over the Internet. Simultaneously, potential changes to foreign ownership restrictions on Canadian communications companies could globalize the industry to a degree never before seen.

To navigate these uncharted waters, the giants of the communications industry in Canada and worldwide rely on the expertise of the Blakes Communications group. With one of the largest teams in the country and with professionals in each of our offices nationwide, we have played a leading role in some of the most significant transactions in the communications industry over the past decade. Our Communications lawyers have also been called upon by a wide variety of other companies to advise on virtually every type of communication issue.

On the domestic front, major telecommunications, internet access, wireline telephone service, IPTV cable television companies, emerging media and entertainment businesses, among others, regularly call upon us for both strategic counsel and powerhouse advocacy before tribunals and in courtrooms. Broadcasting regulations, wireless spectrum auctions, spectrum allocation and usage matters, and competition law issues are just some of the challenges our clients face. With their goals at the forefront, we skilfully guide our clients through the regulatory complexities, transactional opportunities and legal challenges, helping to advance their objectives.

Internationally, we have provided expert representation and strategic regulatory advice to a stellar list of leading wired and mobile telecommunications giants, broadcasters, internet service providers, and radio and television companies. Leading and emerging global telecommunications carriers and satellite service providers with interests in Canada consistently turn to us for our experience and expertise.

Major broadcasters, media companies and content providers also retain our services for Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) hearings and appeals, broadcast licence applications, corporate mergers and acquisitions, transactional guidance, intellectual property protection, financing and restructuring advice, and a host of other services. Working closely with our Media & Defamation group, we also advise leading media companies on libel, defamation, privacy and other communications issues.

As one of the fastest-growing communications teams in Canada, we are positioned to keep pace with our clients in an industry already experiencing highly accelerated growth rates.

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Recent Experience
  • Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners in connection with its acquisition of Xplornet Communications Inc., Canada’s largest rural-focused broadband service provider, which is the largest private equity transaction in Canada in 2020.

  • Equinix, Inc. on its C$1.04-billion acquisition of 25 data-centre facilities across Canada from BCE Inc.

  • Digital Colony Partners and EQT Infrastructure IV Fund on their consortium’s US$14.3-billion agreement to acquire and recapitalize Zayo Group Holdings, Inc.

  • Bell Canada regarding the review of the foreign ownership structure of Globalive Communications both before the CRTC and the federal Cabinet review proceeding.

  • Canadian regulatory advisor to National Hockey League Enterprises with respect to broadcasting and media matters in relation to the distribution of its programming in Canada and its interest in the NHL Network. Also represented the NHL in CRTC proceedings in relation to regulatory treatment of New Media.

  • Harris Corporation on its US$675-million worldwide acquisition of the Canadian wireless network systems business of Tyco Electronics Ltd.

  • Global Banking Corporation on its acquisition of 11 per cent of S Tel, India, a joint venture established between Batelco (Bahrain) and the Siva Group (India).

  • TATA Communications of India in respect to corporate matters, commercial matters and certain regulatory matters.

  • Israeli-based Haaretz Daily Newspaper Ltd. in successfully representing them before the Supreme Court of Canada concerning internet jurisdiction and the alleged defamation of Canadian businessman Mitchell Goldhar.

Awards & Recognition

Blakes Communications lawyers have been recognized as leaders in their respective fields in the most recent editions of the following publications:

  • Chambers Global: The World’s Leading Lawyers for Business

  • Chambers Canada: Canada's Leading Lawyers for Business

  • The Canadian Legal Lexpert Directory

  • The Legal 500 Canada

  • Who's Who Legal: Telecommunications, Media & Technology

  • Who's Who Legal: Canada

  • The Best  Lawyers in Canada