Media News - Monday, September 24, 2012
Argentina’s government and one its leading critics, Grupo Clarin SA (GCLA), clashed over President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner’s determination to break up the country’s biggest media conglomerate. The government, in advertisements broadcast nationwide during soccer matches over the weekend, said it will strip most of Clarin’s television licenses even as the Supreme Court considers a company-requested injunction to block the move. The Supreme Court ruled on May 22 that Clarin has until Dec. 7 to fall in line with an antitrust law approved by Congress in 2009 requiring the Buenos Aires-based company to sell dozens of television networks it operates across the country. Still, justices have yet to rule on a company lawsuit claiming its constitutional rights are being violated. The government, deflecting criticism by opposition politicians and advocacy groups that it’s trying to control news coverage, said that its actions seek to guarantee “diversity and democracy” in Argentina’s media. If Clarin doesn’t adhere to the law the government will be forced to auction its licenses so no jobs are lost, the video said. Clarin owns the country’s largest-circulation newspaper as well as its biggest cable-television operator, Cablevision SA, radio stations, Internet providers and Argentina’s biggest printing press. It has been feuding with the government since Fernandez’s late husband and predecessor, Nestor Kirchner, accused it of supporting farmers in a national strike over export taxes. (Business Week)
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