Free Press

Targeted By Argentine Government, Independent Media Company Wins Round in Court

It won't be muzzled by authoritarian officials, yet


An Argentine civil court handed a victory to Clarin media group on Thursday by granting a request by the conglomerate to delay application of a law calling for it to dismantle part of its broadcasting empire.

The order came one day ahead of a deadline by which Clarin was ordered to submit a plan for selling off dozens of operating licenses or risk having them auctioned by the state instead.

Part of the law, passed by congress in 2009, is still under constitutional review by a lower court judge. So the Civil and Commercial Court ruled on Thursday that Clarin should not be forced to sell licenses until the judge "renders final judgment" on the contested elements of the media reform law.

The media group objects to the law's most controversial clause, Article 161, on the grounds that it violates the constitution by forcing companies to sell off previously acquired radio, television or cable TV operating licenses.