Government rejects Grupo Clarin breakup proposal; remains committed to splitting media giant

14 Oct 2014

Argentine President Cristina Kirchner has rekindled the government’s long-running feud with local media giant Grupo Clarin, the Wall Street Journal reports, after federal communications agency Autoridad Federal de Servicios de Comunicacion Audiovisual (AFSCA) reiterated its intention to break up the company for defying the country’s controversial media law.

Last week the regulator rejected Clarin’s proposed ownership structure for the six new companies that would own the radio, cable TV, newspaper and broadcast assets, with AFSCA chairman Martin Sabbatella observing that the firm is trying to skirt ownership limits through a complex web of commercial agreements and shell companies located in four different countries, noting: ‘It is clearly an attempt to maintain a dominant position.’

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in November 2013 Clarin presented the government with a plan outlining the division of its assets into six different companies, in a bid to comply with the country’s media law. Previously, the Supreme Court declared that key parts of the controversial legislation were constitutional, meaning that Clarin – which owns local cableco Cablevision, broadband provider FiberTel and a number of TV channels – would be forced to divest some of its multimedia assets that exceed licence limits.