The Senate Systems and Media Committee, chaired by Alfredo Luenzo (Chubut Somos Todos), on September 25 presented a report on “Media, Telecommunications and Internet Convergence from a Competition Perspective: Towards a Multicomprehensive Approach”, published in Spanish by UNESCO. The purpose of the event was to introduce the theme and open a space for debate. Although progress on a media regulation bill is unlikely at the moment, there is a possibility that discussion on this topic will be stepped up next year.
During the meeting, coauthor Guillermo Mastrini said that “Today, the main source of income for Amazon is the web, also used by companies competing with Amazon. They know that the use of data allows them to increase their power, and this attacks users themselves.”
Senator Luenzo highlighted that “The market is very clear about where it wants to go, the issue is where the State is going. We have to think about this in a federal way. Hopefully we can move forward in a broad and consensual regulatory framework.”
Scientist Martín Becerra, coauthor of the document and promoter of the Audiovisual Communication Services Law (26.522) which was passed in 2009, highlighted the importance of developing public policies ensuring the right to competition and freedom of expression in a context of high media concentration. “One of the central points is the paradox that there is supposed to be huge potential for openness in the context of the digital revolution, yet the trend to concentrate ownership, users, audiences and data is accelerating. This presents public policy makers with a major challenge when attempting to take advantage of these sectors.”
The meeting included comments from AR-SAT director Henoch Aguiar, and former national director of Cultural Industries Natalia Calcagno.