Blow for Clarin as Supreme Court rules media law is constitutional

30 Oct 2013

Argentina’s Supreme Court has ruled that key parts of the government’s controversial media law are constitutional, meaning that local media giant Grupo Clarin could be forced to divest some of its multimedia assets, BNamericas reports. In December 2009 Clarin won a three-year court suspension of a number of articles of the Audiovisual Communication Law, which was passed earlier that year and states that companies exceeding licence limits set forth by the law must sell off assets, notes TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database. The precautionary measure was due to mature on 7 December 2012, and from that date the government said it planned to auction off Clarin’s licences that exceed legal limits (158 TV licences, one for each of the cities in which it offers cable and internet, and 134 more than the 24 allowed). In December 2012 Clarin won a temporary extension of the injunction, and since then the issue of the media law’s constitutionality has been debated in various courts. Clarin, which owns local cableco Cablevision, broadband provider FiberTel and a number of TV channels, has been accused by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner of biased reporting against her administration. In a statement on its website, the media group has said it will consider making an appeal to international courts.

Argentina, Cablevision (FiberTel)