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Two-minute Recap of Recent Developments in Turkish Competition Law – August 2022

September 2022 – In August, the Turkish Competition Board (the “Board”) published 48 reasoned decisions, but did not approve any merger control filings.

The highlight of Turkish competition law in August is that the Board initiated four new full-fledged investigations.

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The Board proceeds with re-appointment of its three members

In August 2022, the Board lost its quorum to hold a meeting until new members are appointed, as the terms of three of the current Board members have come to an end.  

The Board consists of seven members: five members are required to hold a meeting, and four members are required to render a final decision. Accordingly, this situation rendered the Board to a place of incapability for reaching a quorum to hold a meeting. However, the Board establishes a quorum once again with the re-appointment of same 3 members, and all decisions including merger controls, preliminary and full-fledged investigations, and final decisions will be pursued as of September 3.

Second-hand car platforms under investigation

In August, the Board announced that it has initiated an investigation against Arabam.com, Vava Cars, Araba Sepeti, and Letgo, all of which operate in the market for the purchase and sale of second-hand vehicles. The Board will investigate whether there is an agreement between these undertakings on concerted practices or that restricts competition. 

The Board scrutinises the exclusivity provisions of a betting site

Another Board investigation announcement relates to the betting site Nesine.com. According to the announcement, the Board has concluded its preliminary investigation to determine whether Nesine.com violates Turkish Competition Law by concluding vertical agreements including exclusivity provisions. Accordingly, the Board stated that there is substantial and sufficient evidence to initiate an investigation against Nesine.com in this regard.

Popular scooter systems are now on the Board’s agenda

The Board also announced that it has initiated an investigation against micro-mobility services (e.g., electric scooter rentals) provider Martı. In the announcement, the Board stated that it has concluded the preliminary investigation to determine whether Martı holds a dominant position in the relevant market and abuses this position with its exclusionary activities against its competitors. The Board has yet to issue its decision.

The Board examined predatory pricing in the retail toy market

The Board published its reasoned decision on Toypa, which operates as a retail seller of children’s toys. In its decision, the Board examined the allegations against Toypa that claim abuse of dominant position by applying predatory prices through regional discounts, and did not initiate an investigation. 

In its decision, the Board underlined the conditions of predatory pricing and stated that any act of predatory pricing violates Turkish Competition Law only when:

  • it is performed by a company in a dominant position;
  • the relevant company has taken the risk of loss by selling goods for a price under their costs for a short term; and
  • market foreclosure is possible for a competitor of a similar activity.

In line with this, the Board investigated:

  • the discounts applied by Toypa to detect any infringement of competition regulations; and
  • whether such discounts led to any market foreclosure.

In order to disclose any foreclosure in the relevant market, the Board examined the activities of Toypa and its competitors in the market as well.

As a result, the Board noted that Toypa’s competitors increased their number of stores in the shopping malls where both Toypa and its competitors operate. Accordingly, the Board concluded that the de facto situation of the market does not indicate any market foreclosure, and thus the third criterion stated above regarding predatory pricing does not exist. Therefore, the Board decided not to initiate an investigation against Toypa.

For more information please contact Bulut Girgin, Counsel, Head of Competition & Compliance, at bgirgin@gentemizerozer.com, and Associates Ceren Ceyhan, at cceyhan@gentemizerozer.com, or Merve Zeynep Aydaş, at maydas@gentemizerozer.com.