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Attorneys at O’Melveny & Myers helped the International Olympic Committee as it slalomed through the bidding process for television rights to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games and the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. O’Melveny attorneys in the Los Angeles, Century City and Washington, D.C., offices, led by entertainment partner Joseph Calabrese, put together the auction process at which all of the major networks presented their bids. “We’ve been doing this for about 20 years,” said Calabrese. “We started with the Seoul games.” General Electric Co. and NBC put in the winning $2.2 billion bid package. Unlike previous years, GE bought broadcasting rights for all media forms, ranging from network television and the Internet to handheld devices. In the past, each set of rights had been negotiated separately. “Because the bundle of rights is included [in the package], this was an innovative, fresh look at the way we’ve done business in the past,” said Calabrese. He added that consolidating all the rights also made the deal easier to complete. In the end, NBC beat the other networks because of its experience and the deep pockets of its parent company. “NBC is the incumbent, and they were extremely thorough in their presentation,” said Calabrese. “They sold us on the fact that they are the people most familiar with the games and demonstrated the biggest commitment with $2 billion for the rights and a compelling GE sponsorship.” In addition to putting together the bidding process and handling all of the paperwork, Calabrese and his staff had to also draft a refund process in the event the games are cancelled. Much of the money included in the deal is given to the IOC up front, but if the games don’t happen, GE will get much of it back. NBC in-house lawyer Gary Zenkel led the deal for the network. James Clark of Cahill Gordon & Reindel in New York provided outside counsel to NBC. Howard Stupp served as in-house counsel to the IOC. In addition to Calabrese at O’Melveny, entertainment counsel Christopher Brearton; banking and finance partner James DeMeules; firm chairman Arthur Culvahouse Jr.; entertainment partner Michael Hobel; new media partner Christopher Murray; tax counsel Luc Moritz and entertainment associate Paul Iannicelli worked on the deal. PALM/ HANDSPRING Milpitas-based Palm Inc., a maker of handheld computing devices, has acquired industry rival Handspring Inc. for $168.9 million in stock. Attorneys in the Palo Alto office of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati represented Palm in the deal. Lawyers in the San Francisco office of Fenwick & West represented Mountain View-based Handspring. In addition to the stock portion of the deal, Palm will also provide up to $20 million in financing to Handspring to use for product development, said Douglas Cogen, the partner at Fenwick who led the deal for Handspring. Palm will also spin off the operating system section of its business as a new, separate entity called PalmSource. Cogen said the extra financing and Palm’s spinoff made the deal more interesting. “The spinoff transaction occurs simultaneously,” he said. “We had to analyze and wrap our brains around how they were dividing up the two parts of the business.” Once PalmSource is separated from the company, Handspring and Palm will merge. In addition, the new combined company will cut 125 jobs, and Handspring employees will be relocated to Palm’s office in Milpitas. “It’s an exciting time for both companies and was a great strategic moment to pursue the transaction,” said Cogen. He added that Palm would provide Handspring greater opportunities to both develop and market its new products. Partners Larry Sonsini, Andrew Hirsch, Katharine Martin and Martin Korman worked on the deal for Palm at Wilson Sonsini. In addition, associates Rafik Bawa, Jeffrey Cannon, Bradley Finkelstein, John Mao, Lance McKinlay, Brandon Ponichter, Daniel Rodriguez, Charles “C.J.” Prober, Kevin Rooney, Lisa Stimmell, and Shiping Xu also worked on the deal. In addition to Cogen, corporate partners Dennis DeBroeck, Lynda Twomey, and Blake Stafford worked out of Fenwick’s Mountain View and San Francisco offices. Partner Robert Freedman worked out of Boise, Idaho. Benefits partner Scott Spector; tax partners Ronald Schrotenboer, Laura Majerus, Connie Ellerbach; intellectual property partners Darryl Woo, David Lisi, Emmett Stanton and associates Andrew Schultheis, Thomas “T.J.” Hall, Greg Roussel, Michael Farn, Henry Su, Liza Morgan, Monifa Clayton, Diana Lock, Ines Gonzalez, Catherine Manley, Elizabeth Gartland and of counsel Mona Clee also worked on the deal.

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