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Argentine government refuses to authorize merger between TV stations owned by Clarín

The Argentine telecom regulator, Comfer, said it rejected the merger application for CableVisión and MultiCanal, the largest cable TV operators in the country, a decision that deepened the conflict between the government and the largest domestic media company, Grupo Clarín, Reuters reports.

Comfer also ordered CableVisión to return several of its broadcast licenses, as it is currently in violation of laws that prohibit an operator from having more than one frequency in the same area, La Nación adds.

The Supreme Court tacitly approved the merger last week by refusing to hear an appeal, but Comfer said the union would create the very kind of monopoly that the media reform bill, which is currently being debated in Congress, intends to eliminate, the Associated Press explains.

According to the newspaper Clarín, CableVisión released a statement which said the actions lack “any logic or legal support” and that the company “strictly complies with the law.” The operator said that the decision has “the clear political objective of deliberately manipulating and confusing legislators and public opinion.”

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