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The TCA Publishes Pioneer Decisions on the Simultaneous Implementation of the Leniency and Settlement Procedures

Competition Law | Articles

The TCA Publishes Pioneer Decisions on the Simultaneous Implementation of the Leniency and Settlement Procedures

Following the introduction of the settlement procedure, the number of undertakings applying for settlement has been increasing consistently. In this respect, the Turkish Competition Authority’s (“TCA”) evaluations regarding the implementation of the settlement procedure have become an object of curiosity as the investigations that ended with settlement decisions continue to be announced on the official website of the TCA. Two reasoned decisions published on 17 January 2023, were indeed significant in this context as the administrative fines were reduced to a record-breaking extent (a total of 60% for Kınık Maden Suları A.Ş. (“Kınık”) and %55 for Beypazarı İçecek Pazarlama Ambalaj Turizm Petrol İnşaat Sanayi ve Ticaret A.Ş. (“Beypazarı”)) within the simultaneous implementation of the settlement and leniency procedures. On 24 February 2021, the TCA initiated a fully-fledged investigation against Kınık and Beypazarı (two competing manufacturers of natural mineral water and flavored mineral water) upon the claims that the investigated parties fixed prices through exchanging sensitive price information, price change dates, and increased prices. The investigation was concluded upon the settlement and leniency applications by both companies, with the finding that Kınık and Beypazarı had violated Article 4 of the Law on the Protection of Competition (“Competition Law”) by fixing prices through exchanging current and future price information, price change dates and jointly increasing prices. The TCA imposed fines on both undertakings and also applied significant reductions as a result of settlement and leniency applications.

The Turkish Competition Authority Takes a Wide Interpretation of the “Technology Undertaking” Exception Applicable to the Turkey’s Merger Control Thresholds

Competition Law | Articles

The Turkish Competition Authority Takes a Wide Interpretation of the “Technology Undertaking” Exception Applicable to the Turkey’s Merger Control Thresholds

The interpretation of the exemption brought for “technology undertakings” took a sudden turn with the Turkish Competition Authority’s (“TCA”) recent Berkshire Hathaway Decision (15.09.2022, 22-42/625-261) which resolved that the exception brought to the merger control thresholds by the recent amendment for the technology undertakings shall be considered applicable, even if the activities of the target undertaking that can be classified to fall under the definition of technology undertaking, are carried out in other geographical markets than Turkey. For background information, as per the renewed Communiqué No. 2010/4 on the Mergers and Acquisitions Calling for the Authorisation of the Competition Board (“Communiqué No. 2010/4”), “the TRY 250 million thresholds that are mentioned under (a) and (b) in the first paragraph, are not applicable in the acquisitions of technology undertakings that (i) are active or (ii) have R&D activities, in the Turkish geographic market or (iii) that provide services to customers in Turkey.” The TCA defines technology undertakings as undertakings active in areas of digital platforms, software and gaming software, financial technologies, biotechnology, pharmacology, agrochemicals and health technologies, or assets related to these undertakings. The lack of geographical dimension in this latter definition is at the roots of this recent disarray.

ACTECON contributed to Focus On feature of The Legal 500

Competition Law | News

ACTECON contributed to Focus On feature of The Legal 500

ACTECON contributed to the Focus On feature of The Legal 500 with an emphasis on the Draft Amendment to the Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition.

Badmouthing—Abuse under Turkish Competition Law?

Competition Law | Articles

Badmouthing—Abuse under Turkish Competition Law?

In recent years, competition authorities around the world have been scrutinising new types of behaviour that might be deemed abusive within the context of antitrust laws. Although those relating to digital markets receive the most attention, not a day passes by without a surprising decision announced by the authorities or competent courts. The decision of the Ankara 7th Administrative Court of First Instance (“CFI” or the “Court”) requiring the Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) to investigate allegations of denigration and deceptive practices can be considered one of them. In this blog post, we examine the TCA’s case law to illustrate its general approach towards such allegations in previous decisions. Before delving into the details of the mentioned case, it must be stressed that in line with the approaches adopted by several competition authorities in the EU, the TCA highlights in its decisions that denigration and deceptive practices by dominant companies actually can be a concern of competition law.

Where to Draw the Line of the Scope of Right to Access to Personal Data? The Constitutional Court Ruled on One’s Right to Access Their Own Personal Data

Data Protection | Articles

Where to Draw the Line of the Scope of Right to Access to Personal Data? The Constitutional Court Ruled on One’s Right to Access Their Own Personal Data

On 20.12.2022, The Turkish Constitutional Court’s (“Constitutional Court”) decision concerning the right to an effective remedy in connection to the right to request protection of the data subject’s personal data within the scope of the right to respect for private life was published in the Official Gazette . In its decision, the Constitutional Court established that the failure to examine the merits of an applicant’s lawsuit renders a theoretically available remedy ineffective. In other words, it was determined that a remedy which can be considered effective at the theoretical level loses its capacity to offer a chance of success due to the interpretation of the courts.

Trendyol Avoids a Full-Fledged Investigation by the Turkish Competition Authority and Gets Block Exemption

Competition Law | Articles

Trendyol Avoids a Full-Fledged Investigation by the Turkish Competition Authority and Gets Block Exemption

On 17 January 2023, the Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) announced its reasoned decision rendered as a result of the preliminary investigation that was conducted against DSM Grup Danışmanlık İletişim ve Satış Ticaret AŞ (“Trendyol”). The preliminary investigation was initiated pursuant to a confidential complaint which alleged that Trendyol violated Articles 4 and 6 of Law No. 4054 on Protection of Competition (“Competition Law”) in the market for online food and supermarket order. This piece briefly explains the (i) dominance and abuse of dominance, (ii) block exemption and (iii) full-fledged investigation related assessments of the TCA in its reasoned decision.

Private Schools’ Practices Are Under the Scrutiny of Turkish Competition Authority

Competition Law | Articles

Private Schools’ Practices Are Under the Scrutiny of Turkish Competition Authority

On 12 January 2023, the Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) announced the initiation of two full-fledged investigations concerning the practices of certain private schools. Those investigations reveal that the TCA has been closely monitoring the news on the private schools’ pricing policies which have had wide coverage on the press recently and been on the agenda of the Ministry of Education (“MEB”) . This piece briefly explains the new investigations as well as the previous investigations of the TCA against the private schools.

Two Edges of Europe Cross Lines: The CMA Fines BMW AG for Failing to Comply with an Information Request

Competition Law | Articles

Two Edges of Europe Cross Lines: The CMA Fines BMW AG for Failing to Comply with an Information Request

The Competition and Markets Authority (“CMA”) of the UK has fined Germany-based Bayerische Motoren Werke Aktiengesellschaft (“BMW AG”), the ultimate parent company of the BMW Group, for failure to comply fully with a written information request without reasonable excuse through its decision of 6 December 2022 (“CMA Decision”). The fine includes a fixed amount of GBP 30,000 plus a daily amount of GBP 15,000, which will continue to accumulate until BMW AG complies with the information request. To provide a legal background, the information request was issued in relation to an ongoing cartel investigation regarding the take-back, dismantling, and recycling of end-of-life vehicles (“ELVs”) in the UK. As for the purposes of any investigation, the CMA has the right to require any person to produce to it a specified document or to provide it with specified information that it considers relates to any matter relevant to an investigation under the Competition Act 1998 (“CA98”). CA98 also provides that where the CMA considers that a person has, without reasonable excuse, failed to comply with a requirement to provide information, it may impose a penalty of such amount as it considers appropriate.

Continuation of Anti-Dumping Measures Concerning The Baby Carriages and Parts of Baby Carriages

International Trade | Articles

Continuation of Anti-Dumping Measures Concerning The Baby Carriages and Parts of Baby Carriages

Despite the huge workload and new appointments in 2022, the trade remedies continue to be one of the key tools used by the Turkish Ministry of Trade (“Ministry”) in ensuring the fair international trade practices and shaping the free trade rules to restore the competitive balance. Recently, the Ministry concluded an expiry review investigation concerning the imports of “baby carriages, parts of baby carriages (chassis only)” originating in China. This case is noteworthy because the measures are applicable for almost two decades and the Ministry established no dumping margin but still determined that the expiry of the measures would be likely to result in a continuation or recurrence of dumping.

The Turkish Competition Authority Published Mergers and Acquisitions Overview Report for 2022

Competition Law | Articles

The Turkish Competition Authority Published Mergers and Acquisitions Overview Report for 2022

The Turkish Competition Authority (“TCA”) has published its Mergers and Acquisitions Overview Report for 2022 (“Report”) on January 6, 2023. For ease of reading, we will refer to M&As as mergers. The Report offers an overview of the TCA’s work on mergers and provides comparisons with previous years in aspects such as (i) position of Turkish and foreign companies in the market, (ii) origins of the investors and (iii) total number and value of the transactions notified to the TCA based on sectors. As detailed below, this year has witnessed a decrease in the number of notified mergers while foreign investors have maintained their interest in Turkish markets.

New year, new titles for several antitrust lawyers

Competition Law | News

New year, new titles for several antitrust lawyers

Global Competition Review (GCR) has published an announcement on their website regarding the promotion of Mustafa Ayna and Caner K. Çeşit to Counsel positions at ACTECON

Anti-Dumping Measures Which Are to Expire in 2023 and What Kind of Connotations This Might Have on Interested Parties

International Trade | Articles

Anti-Dumping Measures Which Are to Expire in 2023 and What Kind of Connotations This Might Have on Interested Parties

When we review the Turkish Ministry of Trade’s official website and considering the latest global developments regarding the international trade, we believe that 2023 is going to be a busy year. In this regard, it is of utmost interest to parties which have stakes in this area to closely monitor and anticipate which investigations may be initiated, so as to either apply for an expiry review or to prepare for them. This becomes especially significant when the amount of scrutiny and work these investigations require the interested parties to dedicate. Under the Turkish legislation it is stipulated that a measure shall expire five years from its imposition or five years from the date of the conclusion of the most recent review. In case a producer would like to apply for an expiry review, such a request should be made no later than three months before the end of the five-year period. This request should be made in written form and contain sufficient evidence for the initiation of a review investigation. In this regard, the Ministry generally welcomes the applications of domestic producers. However, it should be born in mind that the applications which do not contain sufficient evidence may be rejected by the Ministry or the Ministry may ex officio initiate an expiry review investigation.

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