On adjustment to media lawSaturday, August 9, 2014
AFSCA chief warns Clarín Group
AFSCA media watchdog head Martín Sabbatella yesterday sent a warning shot to the media conglomerate Clarín Group urging that it not resist adjusting its holdings to meet the terms of the 2009 Broadcast Media Law.
“There are pretty clear indications that the group led by Héctor Magnetto would like to block the implementation of the law but we won’t allow it. If they insist on blocking a voluntary adjustment, the state has the legal authority to establish its own mandatory adjustment mechanisms to put an end to the concentration of the media,” said Sabbatella yesterday.
Sabbatella also argued that the Group has once again employed a strategy of litigation to delay the implementation of the Media Law.
Last week, PRO lawmaker Guillermo Durand Cornejo filed an injunction requesting that the adjustment processes for every single media group be halted. Durand Cornejo filed the injunction as president of the Committee for the Defence of Consumers (Codelco), which also appeared as an amicus curiae in favour of the Clarín Group during hearings held at the Supreme Court to determine the constitutionality of the Media Broadcast Law. The AFSCA this week made a presentation to the Salta court that is studying the matter to dismiss the injunction and recalled that the Supreme Court has ruled that the law is constitutional.
Furthermore, the Clarín Group has sought to modify the terms of its own adjustment plans by retaining “Unit 4” — a division that contains a series of television channels. The AFSCA has already rejected the proposal and is now studying an alternative proposal that includes transferring the assets to an independent trust composed by both South Media LLC and Clarín Media Group.