Author: Maria Christodoulou
Firm: Anastasios Antoniou LLC
As a jurisdiction, Cyprus is an ideal investment destination for telecommunications undertakings. While the Cypriot tax system underwent a harmonization process to comply with the acquis communautaire and international standards, appropriate actions have been carried out in order to maintain Cyprus’s competitiveness as an international business centre and enhance its attractiveness as a suitable jurisdiction for holding companies. Indeed, the tax environment of Cyprus is one of the most business-friendly in Europe, with corporate tax fixed at 10% – the lowest in the EU – and a plethora of tax exemptions being applicable, particularly over dividends received and distributed.
As regards the legislative and regulatory framework, Cyprus has fully aligned it legal order with its Community counterpart. All major Community legal instruments concerning telecommunications, such as the Framework Directive, the Authorisation Directive, the Access Directive, the Universal Service Directive and the Privacy and Electronic Communications Directive, have been transposed in national legislation. The Cypriot national regulatory authority is the Office of the Commissioner of Electronic Communications and Postal Services Regulation (OCECPR). The OCECPR is entrusted by statute with: ensuring that users derive maximum benefit in terms of choice, price and quality; encouraging investment in infrastructure and promoting innovation and encouraging efficient use and management of radio frequencies and numbering resources.
The aforementioned benefits of Cyprus’ accommodating legislative and business environment elevate the island to a primary investment destination for foreign investors. Indeed, apart from using Cyprus as a holding jurisdiction, foreign Clients can and are increasingly enjoying the benefits of establishing their business operations here and entering markets with high prospects of success. Essentially, with respect to industry sectors such as telecommunications, Cyprus features a market that has only recently been liberalized and opened up for foreign investment.
Anastasios Antoniou LLC has taken particular care towards ensuring that we can serve and meet every legal need of Clients active in the telecommunications market of Cyprus, particularly as regards regulatory compliance, competition issues and commercial transactions. In detail, our legal services in the discussed sector cover the following:
• Regulatory matters, including disputes and all aspects of licensing, authorizations and permits to provide electronic communications services
• Mergers and acquisitions, including due diligence, purchase and sale agreements, registration statements and offering memoranda, international joint venture and teaming agreements
• Competition issues, including preparation of analyses on the requirements and risks in current and potential markets and ways to deal with them
• Data protection, including the process call interception, encryption online, itemized billing and storage of traffic data
• Rights of use, including numbering, frequencies and Internet addresses
• Commercial contracts, including drafting, advising and assisting in contracts related to network build, mobile virtual network operations, outsourcing, equipment and software supply and service provision