Weak regulatory system
There is no specific regulation for media ownership concentration in Colombia. The limits and restrictions on that are based on the constitutional and legal framework that governs all economic activities in general - it guarantees for example the freedom to found media organizations and includes the provision of public services.
Important role of the Constitution
The Political Constitution of 1991 aims to prevent monopolistic practices in telecommunications. The Constitutional Court has affirmed the need for greater state regulation and organization of telecommunications, since the electromagnetic spectrum does not merely support economic activity but is also available for provision of public services. The Constitution therefore attempts to secure information pluralism and reduce of monopolistic practices. This is the constitutional key for analyzing the media market and media democracy in Colombia. However, as MOM showed, this is only in theory - media audience concentration occurs across all sectors (see Concentration).
Which institutions regulate the media?
The Communications Regulation Commission (CRC) and the Ministry of Information and Communication Technologies (MinTic) are responsible for regulating the radio and television sectors. MinTic issues and renews radio licenses, monitors broadcasting, and investigates complaints about stations by members of the public. The National Television Authority (ANTV) regulates television. There is no internet regulation. The National Spectrum Authority (ANE) is another important state entity It is a strategic planning body charged with national radio spectrum surveillance and control. The Superintendence of Industry and Commerce (SIC) is responsible for national competition policy.
Why is the regulatory regime so complex?
This shows the complexity of the regulatory regime with its various separate constitutional, regulatory, and institutional regimes/control agencies for economic competition and each media type. This separation also stems from that only media on the electromagnetic spectrum (radio, television and internet) is classified under the public services law. Telecommunications services, radio and television are also expressly classified as public services in the Political Constitution of 1991. Digital broadcasters and new technologies fall in thisbroadcasting regime. As the printed press sector is not considered a public service, it has a different regulatory and legal regime.
What do the different regulations for the different media types look like?
There are also specific modalities for the provision of communications services within each sector. Each contains differences and limitations with respect to ownership, content, and access to the advertising market. Broadcasting includes commercial, community and public interest radio stations. The television sector includes privately operated national television channels funded from advertising guideline, public national channels, regional public channels operating as state companies, private local channels that receive revenue for advertising, community channels that collect contributions from their associates, and closed television channels dedicated to the sale of services by subscription.