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 packaged dried nuts market through the use of exclusionary practices, complicating the activities of its competitors, and by determining the resale price by interfering with the prices of the dealers—has been completed.
After discussing the information, documents and findings obtained during the preliminary research, the Board found the findings sufficient and has decided to initiate a full-fledged investigation against Tadım.
The settlement mechanism is applied under Turkish law for the first time
Within the scope of the investigation launched against Philips, Dünya Dış Ticaret, Melisa Elektrikli ve Elektronik Ev Eşyaları, Nit-Set Ev Aletleri and GİPA to determine whether they had violated the Law on the Protection of Competition No. 4054 (the “Turkish Competition Law”), the Board decided to conclude the investigation with the implementation of the settlement mechanism and accepted the settlement letters submitted by all undertakings.
Following the adoption of the Settlement Regulation, the Board may initiate a settlement procedure and decide to terminate an investigation at the request of the relevant parties or ex officio, taking into account the procedural benefits arising from the rapid conclusion of the investigation process and the differences of opinion regarding the existence or scope of the violation.
In this context, this decision of the Board marks the first time that the settlement mechanism has been applied under Turkish Competition Law.
Sahibinden.com is safe this time
The Board’s investigation initiated against Sahibinden.com—based on allegations that it had abused its dominant position by using excessive pricing in the online platform service markets for vehicle and real estate sales/rental for the 2018–2020 period—has been completed.
In its decision, the Board ruled that Sahibinden.com does hold a dominant position in the market of online platform services for vehicle and real estate sales/rental in terms of corporate and individual members. However, the Board ultimately determined that Sahibinden.com did not violate the law, and consequently no administrative monetary fine was imposed.
17 jewellers sanctioned for fixing gold prices
The Board completed its investigation into allegations that jewellers operating in the Tekirdağ province violated Turkish Competition Law by mutually agreeing to determine the purchase and sales prices of gold. In its decision, the Board found that 17 jewellers had engaged in a violation of Turkish Competition Law and correspondingly decided to impose total administrative monetary fines of TRL 263,818 (approximately EUR 27,000) on the undertakings.
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