Tuesday, December 18th 2012 - 06:00 UTC

Argentine government begins process to dismember Clarin media group

Argentina's government Monday began the process of auctioning off media licenses and related assets held by the media conglomerate Grupo Clarin SA. The move, which government officials say should take about 100 business days to complete, comes after a lower court judge ruled Friday that a three-year-old media law requiring Clarin to be dismantled is constitutional.

Early morning Cristina Fernandez administration official visited Clarin to inform them the process of auctioning licences had started (Photo: Telam)

“We notified Clarin that the auction process has begun. The law is constitutional, and it is in full effect,” said Martin Sabbatella, who was appointed by Argentine President Cristina Fernandez to enforce the law.

Earlier Monday, Clarin appealed the ruling to a federal appeals court. In a statement, Clarin accused the government of violating other court decisions by starting the auction process.

Clarin noted the same federal appeals court recently said the company would have one year to comply with the law even it were found constitutional. Clarin also said that because it appealed the ruling, the decision automatically would be suspended until it has been confirmed or rejected by a higher court.

Marcela Basterra, a constitutional law professor at the University of Buenos Aires, said the government's action Monday was primarily political.

“The government is doing this for political reasons because, legally speaking, it has to wait for a decision on this matter from the appeals court before it can act,” Mrs. Basterra said. “In reality, this case is going to end up in the Supreme Court, and only then will it be resolved.”

Mrs. Basterra said the lower court's ruling isn't binding because it has been appealed. She said the Supreme Court eventually will have to decide whether the law is constitutional and how much time Clarin has to comply with it.

“The majority of constitutional scholars think the one-year period will come into effect only if the law has been definitively declared constitutional by the Supreme Court,” she said.

Mr. Sabbatella disagrees and has said repeatedly that the one-year divestment period has expired already, meaning the government is right to enforce the law immediately.

Monday's developments are the latest in an intense and public battle between Clarin and President Cristina Fernandez, who accuses the company of being a coup-mongering monopoly that tries to topple her government.


46 comments Feed

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1 Shed-time (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 08:46 am Report abuse
Why bother waiting for the law to decide, when you can just ignore the courts and do everything by presidential decree?

“The Argentinian Way: Viveza Criolla:” Juan Peron (1967) foreword by Adolf Hitler
2 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 11:37 am Report abuse
Don't cry Argentina.....look on the bright side. Without an independent media.....there will be no more homeless, no more super inflation, no more decling trade surpluses, no more strikes, they will be only your ill concieved perceptions. The news will be all good and life in Emerald City will be grand as the dictator reigns over a lifetime rule of her subjects.
3 ptolemy (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 12:10 pm Report abuse
@2 Good point. No news is good news.
4 Shed-time (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 12:21 pm Report abuse
Goebbels 2 / Independent Press 0
5 willi1 (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 12:37 pm Report abuse
from nazi homeland: we did that about 70 years ago. and it took 12 years to wipe us out.
poor argentines with these crooks, bastards, and blackmailers as a so called government!!
6 Pirate Love (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 01:27 pm Report abuse
another step towards complete dictatorship with a growing lack of transparency.

Dark days ahead Argentina....when in the future you ask yourselves “where did it all go wrong”, remember this day!
7 Raven (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 01:34 pm Report abuse
She just isn't trying hard enough.

Every despot leader usually has their photos 20 feet tall and slapped on every street corner. Unless she plans to be more subtle and just have her face on the front page of every paper, every day, with a headline of what the brave fearless leader did today.

eg, from the bbc about North Korea and it's hopelessly out of control sattelite.

''The rocket was celebrated extravagantly in North Korea, with a mass rally held in the capital, Pyongyang.

State media credited the country's new leader, Kim Jong-un, with the success, praising his “endless loyalty, bravery and wisdom”.

Now the Argentine version

The rocket was celebrated extravagantly in Buenos Aires, with a mass rally held.

Other media also credited Argentina's leader, Mad bitch botox, with the success, praising her “endless loyalty, bravery and wisdom”.
8 reality check (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 01:59 pm Report abuse
Wait till she publishes her “Little Black Book” containing the thoughts of Chairman Christina! They'll all be wearing light blue boiler suits next.
9 Shed-time (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 02:38 pm Report abuse
I've been predicting the massive statues of Maximo and marching to Nestoranity hymns for a while now. I'm pretty sure they're close to implementing it.
10 reality check (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 02:44 pm Report abuse
Ideally, the rest of the Argentine media/press could show solidarity with Clarion by not bidding for the licenses, but that aint going to happen.
11 Shed-time (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 02:50 pm Report abuse
@10 I think you and I both know that those licenses will be sold, at cost, to the friends of the Standing Committee of the People's Democratic Republic of Argentina.

I'd expect La Campora News 24 to get a few of them.
12 reality check (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 02:51 pm Report abuse
Not so sure who would buy them, but damned sure where the money will go!
13 Pete Bog (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 03:11 pm Report abuse
I suppose Argentina will be a happier country if the truth is not reported as CFKs nextplan to emulate Adolf Hitler succeeds.

The trouble is , the fact that the RG press reported the sinking of Invincible about 3 (?) times in 1982 didn't really help as the ship didn't actually sink (or was it that we salvaged her three timesextremmely quickly)?

But no doubt it made the Argies feel good, like the fact they were told they were winning the FI war two days before their forces surrendered.

Stand by for more good news from Argentina.
14 reality check (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 03:25 pm Report abuse
I particularly liked the actual (Cartoon) combat footage of that engagement, when it appeared on Youtube. What a journalistic scoop, actual (Cartoon) footage of the true events. Picture never lies!!!!!!
15 Shed-time (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 03:43 pm Report abuse
@14 I like the soundtrack to said 'footage' where you can clearly hear the sound of fingernails dragging down the walls while the argentines cling to the final bit of dignity they have left... then as the film ends you feel them give up and let go.
16 reality check (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 04:09 pm Report abuse
Every Argentinian is entitled to an opinin. When KFC wants to here it. “She'll tell them it!”
17 ProRG_American (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 05:25 pm Report abuse
You are welcome to my ax and saw Mr. Sabbatella.
18 CJvR (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 06:47 pm Report abuse
One by one the lights go out in Argentina.
19 Stevie (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 06:54 pm Report abuse
There is a linear relation between Argentinas achievements and some peoples frustrations on these threads. I might disagree with a lot Argentina presents, but this blind-folded negativity is just silly and little constructive.
20 ChrisR (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 07:01 pm Report abuse

“I might disagree with a lot Argentina presents” Like when was the last time?

And what subject was it?

I am not holding my breath for the reply.
21 Stevie (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 07:09 pm Report abuse
Regional protectionism, refusal to pay bond holders, neglection of treaties with neighbouring countries, to name a few.

Still, the solution isn't silly remarks about hair-styles or constant bashing of their country. Some folks here seem to hare Argentina regardless of what she does. Just have a look at the thread were it says Argentina almost emptied her treasure reserves in order to pay her debts. No “finally” or “well done”.
22 toxictaxitrader2 (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 07:26 pm Report abuse
21 Stevie
Well written sir,theres a lot to like about Argentina.
by the way has the postion with the Clarin group changed again?further appeal I cant keep up,oh to be lawyer in Argentina!
23 Stevie (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 07:38 pm Report abuse
I do not know, but what I do know is that monopoly on media is a bad thing, regardless of who you are and what you represent. From what I've read, Clarin owns quite a large majority of the media sources in Argentina. For those who will say I'm biased, criticism also goes for Chavez Telesur for trying to tell people what to read and think.
I think media should be free and diverse, and neither of them fulfill those criterias, but then again, not many medias does.

I agree with you though, being a lawyer in Argentina must be some rollercoster expeeience
24 Ayayay (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 08:04 pm Report abuse
@21 look again :D at the top, good job! from me.
25 Stevie (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 08:31 pm Report abuse
Pardon my ignorance, Ayayay, but I seem to fail to understand what you are referring to.
26 Pirat-Hunter (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 09:42 pm Report abuse
I don't really like monopolies besides they are not legal anywhere else on earth why would we want it in Argentina, this is the same media that kept quiet during the military regime in the 70's, justice comes to all who break it sooner or later. Good job CFK keep up the good work.
27 Shed-time (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 10:17 pm Report abuse
monopolies exist everywhere; just look at Google for starters.

The issue here is why she suddenly felt the need to start a witch-hunt over Clarin, not as to whether or not Clarin has/had a monopoly.

silly mullet-strokers are silly.
28 Pirat-Hunter (#) Dec 18th, 2012 - 10:37 pm Report abuse
#27 as an Argentine I invite you to buy it, and take clarin to your country if you like them that much, we don't like monopolies in Argentina and if you support them, put your money where your mouth is and buy it to take it home, I think thanks to CFK you can now buy a piece of your so loved propaganda machine at a fire sale prices. SOLD! I hear the UK or US embassy might be next if you keep up the love you hold for us. LOL excellent time to be in Argentina.
29 andy65 (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 12:09 am Report abuse
'@Pirat-Hunter Greace ballwe this is why you are so stupid when you say

we don't like monopolies in Argentina

Your dear leader SS HITLER CRISTINA is one big monopolly trying to control everything you stupid son of a rattle snake
30 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 12:33 am Report abuse
#28 you are right piss hole hunter....great time to be in argentina, so do Canada a favor and rid them of your stink and move to argentina. Has DHS knocked on your door yet about your terrorist threats?
31 Shed-time (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 08:59 am Report abuse
These Mullet-strokers simply cannot understand that they're being led on a merry little dance about monopolies.

I pity the fools.
32 ChrisR (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 09:59 am Report abuse
Foolish, easily led and unthinking seems to be a national characteristic for Peronistas.

They deserve TMBOA.
33 Captain Poppy (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 12:47 pm Report abuse
The Pied Piper of Hameln had the rats walked of the cliffs......TMBOA has the Argentines swimming into the Rio de la Plata
34 Simon68 (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 01:39 pm Report abuse
Just to give an idea of the situation among the media groups in Argentina:

1) The real monopoly among the media groups is the government plus it crony capitalists who have bought up media companies, these make up aproximately 80% of media coverage.
2) The 20% left over is divided among Clarín Group+La Nación+Perfil+other independent media companies.

I repeat what I've said in other threads; if Clarín Group has such incredible power over the hearts and minds of the Argentine voters, how on earth did CFK get such a landslide result in the general elections last year?????????
35 Shed-time (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 01:48 pm Report abuse
@34 so KFC having influence over 80% of the media isn't a monopoly to the la campora terroristas that frequent this board?

Mullet-strokers are indeed quite remarkable in their nonsense.
36 ChrisR (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 03:30 pm Report abuse
@34 Simon68


37 Raven (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 03:31 pm Report abuse
@ 34 Simon68

Nicely put, and as usual, the usual suspects on here will never answer your observations. They prefer the smoke and mirror approach.

Where is Nostroll by the way? He said he would be on here 24/7. Mind you, as his mind is empty of original thought except the thesaurus he swallowed recently, I don't mind that he is not.
38 GeoffWard2 (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 05:01 pm Report abuse
and I ask, following the judgment, has the 'Government' the right to decide which bits it wants and to auction off these selectively to its supporters?
I remember the first acts of the German nazi government were to 'sell' the jewish-owned companies to party members.
39 Santa Fe (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 05:22 pm Report abuse
38... It defiantly is following the German blueprint for control and manipulation of the press, and brainwashing the population.
but the good thing is CFK is bound to ?&@k it up !!
40 Shed-time (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 05:55 pm Report abuse
@39 So, given that she's basically a reincarnation of Hitler...

Hector Timmerman is an american citizen and said to be very close to the american jewry of NYC, and has some influence. Paul Singer, the head of NML capital, is an important and influential member of the NYC jewry.

So what happens at their Channukah parties when Paul Singer is asking Hector why, as an american, he's basically a member of a neo-nazi state.

Or is there something we're all missing here?
41 Santa Fe (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 07:26 pm Report abuse
40... Think the general point is that the state is controlling / breaking up the independent media, so as to control the news and promote government propaganda. Other worrying signs are the brainwashing of children at school with lies regarding the Falklands. so no would not say she is the next hitler, but think she is edging towards a dictatorship. it was a comparison which is valid because the nazis did brainwash from an early age and control the media.
42 Shed-time (#) Dec 19th, 2012 - 09:19 pm Report abuse
@41 I'm suggesting that as an american citizen who can just skip off elsewhere at the required time, timmerman is actually a proponent of machiavellianism. He understands that driving piss-poor diplomacy and a borderline nazi state will ultimately have outcomes that will be of benefits to himself and those around him. Paul Singer similarly drives countries to the wall in order to generate value.

That's all I'm suggesting, as nothing else makes any sense.
43 Stevie (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 01:39 am Report abuse
Simon, that's just numbers you've taken out of thin air, care to provide some sources other than the echoes heard in here?
44 Simon68 (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 02:03 pm Report abuse
43 Stevie (#)
Dec 20th, 2012 - 01:39 am

Sorry, I've been trying to find the article, but no luck so far!!

It was an op-ed piece in the “Río Negro”, but I don't remember the date or author.

It is a fairly true estimate of the actual distribution of the media at this time if you add up all the licences held by: The government, C. López, Grupo Uno, Spollski, etc. and then those held by Clarín Group, La Nación, Perfil, etc., it will give you about 80% and 20% respectiviely.
45 ChrisR (#) Dec 20th, 2012 - 03:45 pm Report abuse
@43 Stevie

And you are doing exactly what you claim Simon68 is doing: care to validate your 'imaginary' numbers?
46 British_Kirchnerist (#) Dec 24th, 2012 - 07:10 pm Report abuse
Good start, hope and expect they'll keep it up...

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