Coca-Cola investigation fizzles out: Turkish Coca-Cola bottler subsidiary probe closed with commitments

The commitment mechanism entered Turkey’s competition law scene in 2020 following an amendment to Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition (“Competition Law”). With this new tool, the Competition Board may decide (i) not to turn a preliminary investigation into a full-fledged investigation, or (ii) to end an on-going full-fledged investigation by making a proposed commitment package binding on the relevant party, provided that it deems the submitted commitment package adequate to eliminate...

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Brain freeze to the ice cream manufacturer: The Board penalised Unilever because of its practices in the ice cream sector

 In 2019, the Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) initiated a full-fledged investigation into the practices of Unilever San. ve Tic. Türk A.Ş. (“Unilever”) regarding the sale of competing ice cream products at final sales outlets.[1] Unilever has been active on the ice cream market in Turkey since 1990 under the “Algida” brand. As a result of its investigation, the Board decided to impose administrative fines on Unilever for violations of Articles 4 and 6 of the Law on the Protection...

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Two-minute recap of recent developments in Turkish competition law – May 2021

In May 2021, the Board approved 20 merger control filings and published 5 reasoned decisions. The most important development in the Turkish competition law was that the Board published the preliminary report on e-marketplace platforms. Another important development was the press release on Facebook-WhatsApp Investigation that the update on the privacy policy of WhatsApp will not come into effect for any users.  WhatsApp waves white flag in Turkey WhatsApp withdrew its updated terms...

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Turkish Competition Board’s Swinging Excessive Pricing Axe Did Not Hit Sahibinden.com This Time

Digital platforms are becoming a larger part of our lives each day. We do increasingly more and diverse things on these platforms: we order food, choose our holiday destination, or shop for the car we want to buy. As such, digital platforms are on the radar of many competition authorities, including the Turkish Competition Authority. After Google, Yemeksepeti, Booking.com and Amazon, local online marketplace Sahibinden.com is one...

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The Turkish Competition Authority’s 2020 Activity Report is now available

The Turkish Competition Authority has published its annual activity report for 2020. The Report provides an outline on the statistics of the Competition Board’s decisions with regard to (i) competition violations, (ii) exemption and negative clearance applications, and (iii) merger & acquisition transactions as demonstrated below, as well as a sector-based distribution of the relevant decisions: A. Breakdown of the decisions related to competition law violations In 2020, the...

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Two-minute recap of recent developments in Turkish Data Protection Law – March 2021

In March 2021, the Personal Data Protection Board (the “Board”) postponed the registration deadline with the Turkish Data Controllers Registry (“VERBIS”) until 31 December 2021. (Our detailed analysis of the announcement is here.) The Board also approved Amazon’s written undertakings for the transfer of personal data abroad—only the second time that the Board provided its approval for the transfer of personal data abroad. (Our detailed analysis of the decision is here.) It...

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Can we record the voice of data subjects via security cameras?

March 2021 – The Turkish Personal Data Board (the “Board”) has recently published its assessment of the issue of security cameras with a voice-recording feature in a decision involving a public institution wishing to use such a system for security purposes. The Board concluded that the data processing activity via security cameras with a voice-recording feature is too interfering and constitutes a violation of the proportionality principle. In its decision the Board underlines the general...

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The deadline for registering with the Turkish Data Controllers Registry (VERBIS) has been postponed again

March 2021 – On 11 March 2021, the Personal Data Protection Board (the “Board”) announced its decision on the postponement of the registration deadline with the Turkish Data Controllers Registry (“VERBIS”) until 31 December 2021 to meet the increasing requests of many data controllers as well as professional associations due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The decision also covers data controllers that missed the 30 September 2020 registration deadline. In a nutshell, the following data controllers...

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Turkish Competition Law “102” – Introduction to the commitment mechanism for Competition Law violations

March 2021 – The commitment mechanism for violations under Article 4 and 6 of Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition (“Turkish Competition Law”) was embedded into Turkish legislation with the amendments introduced to the Turkish Competition Law on 24 June 2020. Following its introduction, many questions have been raised concerning details for the commitment mechanism’s application, and secondary legislation has been eagerly awaited. In response, on 16 March 2021 the Turkish Competition...

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Two-minute recap of recent developments in Turkish competition law – February 2021

In early February, the Turkish Competition Board (the “Board”) decided to launch an investigation against Philips Turkey to determine whether the company has engaged in behaviours or decisions resulting in the prevention, distortion or restriction of competition, thus violating Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition (“Law No. 4054”). The Board also determined in February the dates for oral hearings within the scope of the investigations initiated against (i) Unilever and (ii)...

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Another significant decision on international data transfer from the Turkish Data Protection Board

On 4 March 2021, the Turkish Personal Data Protection Board (the “Board”) announced, for the second time, that it allowed the applications of a written undertaking prepared for the transfer of personal data abroad. The Board allows the transfer of data abroad by approving the applications of the Undertaking made by Amazon Turkey Perakende Hizmetleri Ltd. Şti. and Amazon Turkey Yönetim Destek Hizmetleri Ltd. Şti. The Board’s announcement is available here (in Turkish). Last...

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Two-minute recap of recent developments in Turkish Data Protection Law – February 2021

The most important development in Turkish data protection law in February was the announcement dated 9 February 2021 in which the Turkish Data Protection Board (the “Board”) published its first example of approving a transfer of personal data abroad. The Board approved the transfer of personal data abroad by a Turkish fleet company based on a letter of undertaking submitted by that company. Our detailed analysis of the decision is here. Turkish Constitutional Court decides on employee...

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Turkish Data Protection Board clarifies the distinction between data controller and data processor

On 12 February 2021 the Turkish Personal Data Protection Board (the “Board”) published a decision (dated 30 January 2020 and numbered 2020/71, the “Decision”) in which the Board states the essential elements to distinguish between the concepts of data controller and data processor. In its Decision the Board also emphasises that a data controller may fulfil its obligation to inform itself or via another authorised party. Elements to be considered to distinguish the concept of data...

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Turkish Competition Board Started a Sector Inquiry on the Online Advertising Sector

The Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority“) announced within its official website that the Competition Board (“Board“) initiated a Sector Inquiry on the Online Advertising Sector in order to closely monitor both national and international current developments regarding online advertising in an attempt to identify the behavioural or structural competition related issues in the sector and develop solutions to the relevant issues. It is indicated in the announcement...

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Two-minute recap of recent developments in Turkish competition law – August 2021

In August 2021, the Turkish Competition Board approved 12 merger control filings and published 22 reasoned decisions. The Board also concluded the first settlement application in August, following the entering into force of the Settlement Regulation on 15 July 2021. The Board takes its investigation against Tadım all the way The Board’s preliminary investigation launched against Tadım Gıda Maddeleri San. ve Tic. A.Ş.—based on allegations that it had abused its dominant position in the...

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Turkish Personal Data Protection Board has imposed its largest ever fine on WhatsApp

September 2021 – A day after the Irish Data Protection Commission (on 2 September 2021) imposed a record fine of EUR 225 million against the Facebook subsidiary WhatsApp, the Turkish Personal Data Protection Board (the “Board”) announced on 3 September 2021 that it had imposed an administrative fine of TRL 1,950,000 (approximately EUR 198,000) on the company.  In early 2021 the Board initiated an ex officio investigation after WhatsApp updated its Terms of Service and Privacy Policy...

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Two-minute recap of recent developments in Turkish competition law – July 2021

In July 2021, the Turkish Competition Board (the “Board”) approved 33 merger control filings and published 20 reasoned decisions. Another important development is that the Regulation on Settlement Procedure for Investigations on Anticompetitive Agreements, Concerted Practices, Decisions and Abuse of Dominant Position (the “Settlement Regulation“) which was issued by the Board on 15 July 2021, entered into force by being published in the Official Gazette on 16 July 2021.   Sahibinden.com...

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Two-minute recap of recent developments in Turkish Competition Law – June 2021

In June 2021, the Turkish Competition Board (the “Board”) approved 23 merger control filings. The Board also continues its efforts to determine the effects on competition of digital market platforms and announced that it will hold an e-marketplace workshop in July, alongside its efforts to address competition law concerns in various markets, alongside its on-going investigations. A new investigation for the FMCG sector on Covid-19 price hikes In June the Board launched an investigation...

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Two-minute recap of recent developments in Turkish competition law – April 2021

 In April 2021, the Turkish Competition Board (the “Board”) approved 28 merger control filings and published four reasoned decisions. Highlights from the month include the Board’s imposition of an administrative monetary fine against Google for abuse of its dominant position. Another important development was the Board interesting decision to launch an investigation against 32 enterprises due to so-called “gentlemen’s agreements”. Another fine imposed on Google The Board once again...

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Two-minute recap of recent developments in Turkish competition law – March 2021

March was a productive month for the Turkish Competition Authority, considering the publication of several expected regulations and reports as well as decisions by the Competition Board. The “Communiqué on Commitments” and the “de minimis Communiqué” both entered into force on 16 March 2021. The Communiqué on Commitments shed light the details concerning the application of the commitment mechanism for competition law violations. It sets forth (i) the steps and procedures surrounding...

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