Francesco Liberatore advises clients on all aspects of the application of competition law, in particular in technology driven and digital economy sectors. His experience also focusses on communications law and he coordinates the firm’s EMEA Communications Practice.

    He regularly represents clients in investigations before regulatory and competition authorities, as well as managing internal investigations, dawn raids and counseling on compliance issues and various commercial agreements. Francesco handles merger control due diligence and filings, as well as coordinating multijurisdictional merger control strategies. He also advises private equity investors, banks and other financial investors on arbitrage opportunities. Francesco’s litigation experience includes representing clients in matters before the Competition Appeal Tribunal, the High Court of Justice and the European Courts.

    Francesco is dual qualified in England/Wales and Italy, and coordinates the firm’s Italy Practice. He has authored several legal publications, including the International Telecommunications Law Handbook (Juris Publishing).

    Francesco is recommended as a leading practitioner in Chambers & Partners, The Legal 500 and Who’s Who Legal. Clients describe him as “thoroughly efficient and helpful throughout”, “a true master of telecoms law”, “a delight to work with”, “very good – very knowledgeable and responsive”, “provides timely advice in a practical and risk-based manner” and “really stands out as a brilliant lawyer, who is always dedicated to his client's cause”. Following outstanding client feedback, he was named as a star lawyer in the Acritas StarsTM global database, 2019: Francesco is praised by clients for “the regulatory advice that he provides to us. He appears to have good relationships with the regulators and his advice has enabled us to achieve our business outcomes”.

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    • Advised a global internet-based services provider on various aspects of the new EU Electronic Communications Code, roaming and net neutrality regulations for new solutions, such as in-vehicle Wi-Fi, cloud computing, collaboration tools, content delivery networks, social media and over-the-top services, amongst many others.
    • Acted for a global satellite operator in connection with the successful closure of an Ofcom investigation into non-compliance with satellite authorization conditions by way of agreed commitments, as well as net neutrality compliance issues.
    • Advised a global ICT company in connection with the Italian antitrust authority’s (AGCM) sector inquiry into Big Data and related compliance issues in their handling of data.
    • Defended a major technology company in connection with the successful closure of an investigation by the European Commission and the UK Competition and Markets Authority into an alleged price fixing practice by way of agreed commitments (Global Competition Review Award: Behavioral Matter of the Year – Europe).
    • Obtained merger control clearance from the European Commission, the Competition and Markets Authority, and coordinated multijurisdictional filing strategies, in many high-profile transactions, including successfully negotiating a settlement in return for merger control clearance of a multibillion dollars acquisition involving two global home appliances and Internet of Things manufacturers.
    • Advised various private and government clients on regulatory and policy projects in the communications sector in the EU, Africa, Caribbean, Gulf region and Middle East, including advising on regulatory reforms enabling large digital infrastructure projects.

    Education

    • King's College, London
    • Catholic University, Milan

    Admissions

    • England and Wales, 2012
    • Italy

    Memberships and Affiliations

    • Member of the Board of Directors of the International Institute of Communications (IIC) and Committee Chair of the IIC Brussels Chapter
    • Member of the legal panel for consultancy services to the European Commission in the context of ICT and media competition cases
    • Lecturer, Competition Law, Post Graduate Course, King’s College (London) 
    • Member of the Digital Policy Alliance Committee on Competition and Artificial Intelligence
    • Member of the Digital Policy Alliance Committee on Digital Infrastructure
    • Member of the Digital Policy Alliance Committee on Smart Society

    Languages

    • English
    • Italian
    • French
    • Spanish
    • Selected by Who’s Who Legal and Global Data Review’s independent research with clients and peers as one of the world’s leading data practitioners in Telecoms & Media and Competition & Antitrust
    • Awarded Most Outstanding Competition Legal Advisor of the year 2019 – England by Global Business Insights Awards 2019
    • Recognized in Chambers Europe 2019 Edition for: UK - Competition Law as Up and Coming
    • Recommended in Chambers UK for Competition Law and Telecoms
    • Recommended in The Legal 500 UK for IT and Telecoms, EU and Competition; Fintech
    • Listed in Who Who’s Legal: Competition – Future Leaders

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    • Author, "Slovak Telekom/Deutsche Telekom AG: The interplay between EU competition law and sector-specific rules in the electronic communications sector," European Competition Law Review, 2019.
    • Speaker, "Legal framework," Policytracker's Spectrum Auctions Masterclass: Legal aspects of spectrum management, London, 18 October 2019.
    • Speaker, "How legal issues affect value," Policytracker's Understanding Modern Spectrum Management: Valuing the Spectrum, London, 16 October 2019.
    • Speaker, "Legal Aspects of Spectrum Management," Understanding Modern Spectrum Management, Oxford, 17 September 2019.
    • Chair, IIC Europe Chapter Workshop on the EU Electronic Communications Code, Rome, 18 July 2019.
    • Chair, Panel Discussion on the EU Electronic Communications Code, International Institute of Communications (IIC) Annual Conference, Rome, 19 July 2019. 
    • Co-author, “Slovak Telekom/Deutsche Telekom AG (Cases T-827/14 and T-851/14): The Interplay Between EU Competition Law and Sector Specific Rules in the Electronic Communications Sector,” Journal of European Competition Law & Practice, 17 June 2019.
    • Speaker, “Connected Cars – Navigating the Regulatory/Competition Issues”, 4th Stuttgart Automotive Law Summit, 6 June 2019.
    • Co-author, "New European Electronic Communications Code means the application of the ePrivacy Directive to OTTs", Bloomsbury Professional Law, 30 April 2019.
    • Author, “Anti-trust enforcement – assessing the loan syndication market”, LexisNexis, 17 April 2019.
    • Speaker, “EU Competition and Regulatory Issues in the Satellite Sector”, KNect365 24th Annual Competition Law and Regulation in the Telecoms and Communications Sectors, Brussels, 6 November 2018. (View presentation materials.)
    • Speaker, “Artificial Intelligence and Competition Issues”, International Institute of Communications (IIC), Telecommunications and Media Forum, Brussels, 24-25 April 2018.
    • Author, “Enabling Rural Coverage – regulatory and policy recommendations to foster mobile broadband in developing countries”, GSMA Connected Society, 2018.
    • Author, “Hoffman-La Roche/Novartis: Implications for Co-promotion and Co-marketing Agreements”, CompLaw, 8 February 2018.
    • Author, “10 EU Telecom Regulatory Developments to watch in 2018”, Law360, 1 January 2018.
    • Speaker, “Telecom M&A Strategies”, TMT Finance World Congress, London, 29-30 November 2017.
    • Author, “Telecom M&A: how the rise of national protectionism may prove challenging for deals in 2018”, TMT Finance, 23 November 2017.
    • Moderator, “Co-Investment in New Infrastructure Roll-out”, HSBC and Oxera, Total Telecom Congress, London, 31 October 2017.
    • Speaker, “Connected Policies and Smart Cars”, IIC Brussels Chapter, October 2017.
    • Speaker, “Connected Regulation – what are the legal issues and regulatory roadblock?”, IIC Brussels Chapter, September 2017.
    • Author, “Why Italian Regulators Have Zoomed In On Big Data,” Data Economy, 10 August 2017.
    • Chairman of M&A Panel for the Digital Regulation Forum, Hyatt Regency London, The Churchill, London, 28-29 March 2017.
    • Chairman of the Competition Panel for the IIC Telecommunications and Media Forum, Doha, 21-23 March 2017 (see Intermedia July 2017 Vol 45 Issue 2, pages 4-5, for a summary of the panel discussion).
    • Author, “The State of Debate – What to Expect From the EU E-commerce Sector Inquiry,” CPI’s Europe Column, Competition Policy International, November 2016.
    • Speaker, “Co-investment in Broadband Infrastructure Roll-out”, The Digital Economy Legal Update, webinar co-hosted with HSBC Global Research, November 2016.
    • Chairman of the Competition, Regulation and Investment Panel for the ECTA Regulatory Conference Brussels, MCE Management Centre Europe, Brussel, 9-10 November 2016.
    • Speaker, Legal Aspects of Spectrum Management and Allocation Workshop, Policy Tracker, Oxford, September 2016.
    • Expert opinion to the European Parliament on the negotiation of an agreement between the EU and Switzerland for cooperation in competition matters.
    • Training for the national judiciary of various EU member states on the application of EU competition rules in the pharmaceutical sector, under the auspices of the European Commission training framework.
    • Author, “Restrictions on Parallel Trade of Pharmaceutical Products and EU Competition Law”, EU Competition Law Between Public and Private Enforcement, Wolters Kluwer.

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