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Turkish Competition Board fines online second-hand book sales platform for abusing its dominance

April 2022 – Turkey's Competition Authority has been closely scrutinising digital platforms for some time. On 12 April 2022, the Competition Board decided unanimously that the online book sales platform Nadirkitap holds a dominant position in the market for platform services for second-hand book sales in Turkey and that Nadirkitap abused its dominance by unjustifiably preventing access to and the portability of book data uploaded to its website by third-party sellers. As a result, the Board fined the company TRL 346,765 (approx. USD 23,755 / EUR 21,846) based on its turnover.

In order to ensure effective competition on the relevant market, the Board also ordered Nadirkitap to cease blocking access to data and to provide sellers with their data in an accurate, clear, secure, complete, free-of-charge and suitable format, should the sellers request so. In other words, the companies that sell books on Nadirkitap’s website will now be able to transfer their data to other platforms.

Although the Board’s reasoned decision has yet to be published, it is noteworthy that the Board defined the relevant product market narrowly, comprising only the online sales of second-hand books. Another notable point is that the Board took a relatively strict approach and did not factor in any mitigating causes when calculating the monetary fine. 

The Competition Board’s Nadirkitap decision sheds light on how the competition law rules relating to the digital platforms market will take shape in the near future. The decision, together with the Board’s Trendyol interim measures decision[1] (see here for our overview), also gives an idea of how the prospective new law concerning digital markets will approach platforms with considerable market power.

For further information please contact Bulut Girgin, Counsel, at bgirgin@gentemizerozer.com, and Simru Tayfun, Associate, at stayfun@gentemizerozer.com.

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[1] Last year, the Board ordered interim measures against Trendyol and interfered in the algorithms that the company uses – the investigation is on-going.