June 2023 – In May 2023, the Turkish Competition Board (the “Board”) published one reasoned decision and approved 19 merger and acquisition transactions.
The highlight of Turkish competition law in May was that the Board resolved to settle its investigation into the household appliances industry via the settlement mechanism.
RPM tied up via settlements
On 5 May, the Turkish Competition Authority published the Board’s decision regarding the actions of Korkmaz, a manufacturer of household appliances, and its distributors, Gençler and Punto. The decision focused on allegations of practices that maintain resale prices and put a customer restriction on resellers. Regarding the aforesaid allegations, the Board concluded as follows:
As to Korkmaz:
As to Punto:
As to Gençler:
In light of the above assessments, the Board imposed a total monetary fine of approximately EUR 1.25 million against Korkmaz, Gençler and Punto.
Another decision by the Board regarding online sales restrictions
In one of its recent decisions, the Board accepted the commitments proposed by Arçelik, a multinational household appliances manufacturer that owns well-known brands such as Beko and Grundig. The investigation focused on allegations that Arçelik restricts online sales by its resellers and engages in resale price maintenance.
Following the investigation, Arçelik offered a commitment package to settle with the Board regarding the investigation. The Board found these commitments to be objectively concrete, reasonable and acceptable on the grounds that they increase the quality and nature of distribution, brand image and potential efficiency. Below is a summary of the Board's assessments and the commitments made by Arçelik:
Enhancing consumer experience and protecting brand image:
Data transfer and marketing strategies:
Quality of the distribution system and selective distribution:
Sales through brick-and-mortar stores:
The Board assessed that this ratio would not significantly restrict internet sales of Arçelik's resellers in the short term and fulfilled the aforementioned conditions.
The Board fines chambers of commerce for hindrance of on-site inspections
On 20 October 2022, the Board concluded its evaluations regarding the on-site inspection conducted at the Alanya District Representative Office of the Chamber of Electrical Engineers of the Union of Turkish Engineers and Architects Chambers ("District Representative Office"). The Board held an on-site inspection within the scope of its preliminary investigation into whether a particular decision of the District Representative Office violated Article 4 of the Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition.
In its decision, the Board imposed a monetary fine on the grounds that an employee refused to submit their phone to the Board for inspection. The Board also evaluated the status of the District Representative Office as an undertaking. It was further determined that the District Representative Office does not possess decision-making or executive bodies. Additionally, the Board found that the District Representative Office has the authority to implement the decisions of the Chamber of Electrical Engineers, but does not have the authority to take independent decisions. In light of these findings, the Board deemed the Chamber of Electrical Engineers of the Union of Turkish Engineers and Architects Chambers as the recipient of the administrative fine.
For more information please contact Bulut Girgin, Partner, Head of Competition & Compliance, at firstname.lastname@example.org, and Associates Ceren Ceyhan, at email@example.com, or Merve Zeynep Aydaş, at firstname.lastname@example.org.