Internet, e-Commerce & Social Media

The evolution of the internet and digital media has created opportunities for companies, as well as a host of challenges to navigate the new landscape of business.


From the inception of the internet, the attorneys at Ropes & Gray have advised and represented clients on legal issues pertaining to virtually every type of online business application. The lawyers who comprise our interdisciplinary Internet, e-Commerce & Social Media team are on the cutting edge of their respective fields, many who hold advanced degrees in computer science, software, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering and related areas.

We have the knowledge and experience to evaluate the needs of our clients and formulate global strategies that address the unique challenges faced by companies engaged in online business. Moreover, when litigation is necessary, we offer unsur­passed capabilities.

From data security breaches and social media policies to third-party platform outsourcing, our interdisciplinary team has extensive experience handling a wide range of internet, social media and e-Commerce issues.

What We Offer

Internet Regulation

  • Privacy and cybersecurity concerns and issues related to ECPA, COPPA, GLBA, FCRA, California’s Online Privacy Protection Act, CAN-SPAM, VPPA, and self-regulatory frameworks covering online advertising and payment card processing
  • Trademark and copyright protection
  • Defamation and false advertising
  • Trade secrets
  • Invasion of privacy (“doxing”)
  • Guidelines for the use of social media by employees, human resources and administration 
  • Online advertising, data collection and processing, and electronic marketing

 Transactions and Agreements

  • IT infrastructure and operations transactions
  • Marketing and distribution agreements
  • Hosting and colocation agreements
  • Platform and software licensing
  • Data analytics and management 

Litigation and Enforcement

  • Data breach litigation
  • Consumer class actions
  • Financial institution class actions
  • Card brand claims
  • Responding to FTC and state AG investigations
  • Government or internal investigations
  • Intellectual property litigation

At a Glance

Internet Regulation

  • Rolled out a global privacy policy, terms of use and a corresponding user dashboard for a popular suite of fitness apps, using teams of local counsel spanning five continents.
  • Developed a privacy and security strategy for integration of multiple mobile app platforms, addressing global issues of user consent, control and transparency, which included advising on the EU Directive on Privacy and Electronic Communications and the Telephone Consumer Protection Act.
  • Addressed privacy and security aspects for a U.S. and EU rollout of a popular mobile application and provide continuing support through the rollout of additional versions, features and technologies, particularly as the company contemplates new data uses.
  • Drafted and revised a website privacy statement for an intelligent media company to address data collection use and disclosure through multiple platforms, including the website, mobile and social media, and integrated the client’s existing international transfer policy, which included advising on the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and other international data transfer mechanisms.
  • Advised pharmaceutical and medical device companies on the development and use of mobile medical applications, message boards and other social media platforms.
  • Counseled over a dozen investment advisory firms regarding social media compliance policies and procedures.

Transactions and Agreements

  • Advised Luxury Brand Partners on a variety of transactional matters including new brand acquisitions, supply agreements, distribution agreements and e-commerce agreements on a global basis.
  • Represented Advance Venture Partners LLC in a potential investment in PredictSpring Inc., a mobile commerce platform that allows brands and retailers to build and launch mobile apps from the Web, email, social media, and paid channels.
  • Advised Bain Capital Ventures in a $10-million Series A financing of privately held Doc Halo, an emerging growth company, as part of an $11 million Series A financing. Doc Halo developed a mobile app and online console that enables medical personnel to communicate with each other via secure, HIPAA-compliant text messaging and includes tools to permit instant access to, among other things, medical records, labs and physician directories.
  • Represented Altamont Capital Management in its acquisition of Renegade Platform LLC, a social media and marketing agency.
  • Represented Evolution Media Capital in its minority equity investment in Our Time, Inc., an online dating site for men and women over the age of 50.

Litigation and Enforcement

  • Arranged for the removal of an unfavorable review from a major social media site.
  • Shut down an infringing website using a client’s famous but unregistered trademarks.
  • Defended an Ivy League school from defamation claims arising out of an online article.
  • Counseled various clients on how to respond to trademark infringement on social media sites.
  • Represented a consumer products company in a challenge brought before the National Advertising Division of the Better Business Bureau (NAD) regarding social media practices.
  • Regularly advise a regulated consumer products company on its marketing and promotional efforts through, and disclosure practices for, various social media platforms.
  • Counseled consumer-oriented Internet properties and app providers on their social media disclosure policies and practices.
  • Counseled an industrial machinery corporation on social media policies.
  • Represented a popular wedding website in an action for infringement of a patent relating to internet gift registries, and for computer fraud and abuse, trademark infringement and unfair competition.