Monday, December 10, 2012

Don't Divest of Me, Argentina...

Coat of arms of Argentina
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
A four-year antitrust battle between the Argentine government and the South American nation's largest media conglomerate is not over yet, according to Bloomberg News, which last week reported a judge issued an injunction postponing divesture of media holdings.

Grupo Clarin SA ("GCSA"), which owns four tv stations, 10 radio stations, 240 cable tv operators and Internet Service Providers and Clarin, the nation's largest newspaper, dodged the effects of Article 161 that requires divestiture of tv and radio stations. (See "TUOL" post 10/6/10.) A judge last week delayed the deadline for GCSA having to submit a plan to sell assets without setting a new deadline, pending another court ruling on the constitutionality of Article 161.

Argentina's 59-year-old President Christina Fernandez de Kirchner and GCSA have been at loggerheads over what the government perceives as media bias in the coverage of an export tax dispute involving the government and farmers. According to the Bloomberg article, GCSA's cable entity, Cablevision SA, would have been forced to pare its 168 licenses nationwide down to 24 to comply with the antitrust measure,
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