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Argentina's Lower House Approves Restrictive Media Bill

Argentina's lower house of Congress has approved a controversial media reform bill being pushed by President Cristina Fernandez de Kirchner.

Critics accuse the president of supporting the bill in order to increase her control over the media. The measure would place further limits on the number of broadcast licenses that one organization can have.

An overwhelming number of lawmakers voted in favor of the measure Thursday, but only after more than 100 opposition members walked out in protest.

Some say the bill is an effort to crush the influential Clarin Group media conglomerate, which has been critical of the government. If the bill is approved the company would be forced to get rid of some of its radio and television outlets.

The bill will now be sent to the Senate, though the opposition lawmakers who boycotted the lower house vote say it has not been properly reviewed. They vow to try and block the measure in December, when lawmakers who were elected in June mid-term elections are seated. President Fernandez lost her majority in the June elections.

Some information for this report was provided by Bloomberg, AP and Reuters.