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Argentine Judge Suspends Plan to Split Media Group Clarin

FILE - A vendor sits in his newspaper stand in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

An Argentine judge on Wednesday suspended a resolution to dismantle Argentine media conglomerate Grupo Clarin after its journalists raised concerns that the government was trying to stifle dissident voices, the official judiciary news agency wrote.

Clarin was told early last year to reorganize its radio and television outlets into half a dozen independent companies after the group lost a four-year battle against President Cristina Fernandez's anti-monopoly media law.

Her government used to have harmonious ties with Grupo Clarin and its chief executive officer, Hector Magnetto, but that changed when the company's news outlets criticized her government over its handling of tax protests by farmers in 2008.

The government rejected a reorganization plan Clarin offered last October, saying it would impose a plan of its own.

But Judge Pablo Cayssials suspended the case due to concerns raised by Clarin journalists, the center of judicial information (CIJ) wrote. The reporters had raised concerns about the security of their jobs and possible government attempts to silence dissident voices.

Fernandez's anti-monopoly media law, passed in 2009 and upheld by the Argentine Supreme Court last year, limits the number of TV and radio licenses that can be controlled by one company.