Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Court Strikes Down Portion of Argentine Media Law on Divestiture

English: President of the United States Barack...
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Argentina's President, Cristina Fernandez, 60, suffered a setback last week in her five-year battle with the South American nation's largest media conglomerate, Grupo Clarin SA, after a federal appeals court struck down a portion of a media law concerning divestiture as unconstitutional.

According to reports by the Buenos Aires Herald, Associated Press and blog, the government plans to appeal to the Supreme Court the ruling that Articles 45 and 48 of the media law were unconstitutional. The former limits cable network ownership and the latter limits "unlawful concentration practices."

Grupo Clarin's media holdings include four tv stations, 10 radio stations, 240 cable tv operators and ISPs, and Argentina's largest daily newspaper, Clarin (see "TUOL" posts 12/10/12 & 10/6/10). President Fernandez has long railed against what she perceives to be the monopoly power of  Grupo Clarin, which, not surprisingly, has been critical of her regime. But, according to the Buenos Aires Herald article, the Civil and Commercial Chamber found portions of the country's media law arbitrarily limited the media company's right to hold multiple broadcast and cable tv licenses.

Fernandez is pressing Argentina's Congress to enact legislation that would make it harder to obtain judicial injunctions.
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