Argentina launches process to break up media group
BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) -- Argentina's government told the country's largest media conglomerate on Monday that it has begun to assert control over the company and auction off its media licenses.
Grupo Clarin is one of the government's leading critics and has battled with President Cristina Fernandez for years. Fernandez argues that it is a corporate monopoly and has funded a booming network of pro-government newspapers and stations to challenge Clarin's dominance.
Martin Sabbatella, the head of the government media regulation body, said in Monday that the government will make the conglomerate and other companies comply with the law, which bars any company from owning too many different media properties.
It comes after a court on Friday upheld the constitutionality of a three-year-old law against media monopolies.
"We notified them of the start of the transfer of licenses because the law is constitutional," Sabbatella said at an impromptu press conference outside of Grupo Clarin's headquarters in Buenos Aires.
Grupo Clarin said in a e-mailed statement that the government's action is illegal and tramples on past rulings that favored the media group.
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