Argentina's media future at stake as Supreme Court hears arguments on monopoly law

The future of broadcast television and other news media in Argentina is at stake as the Supreme Court hears arguments on the constitutionality of a law designed to break up privately held media monopolies.

The 2009 law's stiff limits on cable TV ownership would force Grupo Clarin to break itself apart, demolishing a leading opposition voice against government power.

Both sides argued for freedom of expression in the hearings, which were broadcast live on Argentine television Wednesday.

Government lawyer Carlos Ruta said judges must decide whether it's better to trust the "savage power" of private companies or the "institutional guarantees of the state."

Luis Pardo, speaking for Clarin, said that "without an independent media, the right to inform will be held solely by pro-government media."