Sidley has represented AT&T Inc. and its predecessors for more than a century. Sidley played a key role in the complete restructuring of the telecommunications industry as a result of the divestiture of the Bell System. Post-divestiture, Sidley continued as the principal counsel to AT&T Corp., the nation’s leading provider of long distance telephone services. After the passage of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Sidley played a central role in dozens of proceedings before the FCC to implement the Act, and further represented AT&T in numerous federal litigation and appellate proceedings related to the FCC’s implementation of the Act, including multiple Supreme Court appeals.
Sidley lawyers have represented AT&T before the DOJ and FCC to obtain approval of more than a dozen significant mergers and acquisitions. Sidley represented AT&T Corp. in obtaining approval of its merger with SBC Communications, and Sidley now represents the combined company, AT&T Inc., on a wide range of issues including regulatory reform and service and carrier classification, wireline and wireless broadband and IP-enabled services, intercarrier compensation, video competition, net neutrality, universal service, public safety, customer information, international services and preemption. Below are just a few examples of the types of matters Sidley has recently handled for AT&T.
- In 2005, Sidley represented AT&T Corp. as regulatory and antitrust counsel in its $16 billion merger with SBC Communications (which then changed its name to AT&T Inc.). In 2006, Sidley represented AT&T Inc. as regulatory and antitrust counsel in its $80+ billion merger with BellSouth Corporation. In these proceedings, Sidley represented AT&T before the FCC, the DOJ, several state commissions and various foreign regulatory bodies.
- Sidley recently represented AT&T in the landmark FCC proceeding to reform the local cable franchising process to enable video services competition, thereby paving the way for AT&T and other telephone companies to compete against the incumbent local cable operators.
- Sidley has represented AT&T in hundreds of federal and state litigation and appellate proceedings, including several cases before the Supreme Court. The proceedings run the gamut from appeals of FCC orders to defenses against class action antitrust lawsuits to billing and collection actions. These litigation matters are often national in scope and include parallel litigation in multiple jurisdictions. Most recently, for example, Sidley has been retained as AT&T’s lead counsel in pursuing claims in multiple fora against small local exchange carriers that are engaged in “traffic pumping” schemes designed to inflate their access charge billings to AT&T and other long-distance carriers.
- Sidley is AT&T’s lead counsel in dozens of lawsuits and state regulatory commission proceedings arising out of allegations that AT&T provided technical assistance and information directed by the United States government, in order to facilitate the government’s national security-related intelligence activities.
- Sidley has been AT&T’s lead counsel in numerous regulatory and litigation proceedings relating to privacy, ranging from the use of consumer proprietary network information (CPNI) to enforcement of and protection of domain name use.
- In addition to AT&T, Sidley has represented a number of significant telecommunications companies, including Leucadia National Corporation in its acquisition of WilTel communications out of bankruptcy, its privatization of WilTel and its sale of WilTel to Level 3 Communications.