The Competition Board recently published a reasoned decision on granting negative clearance for the exchange of information obtained from the Interbank Card Centre regarding merchant turnover. In line with previous Competition Board, Council of State and Administrative Court decisions, the decision demonstrates that the authority granted to undertakings by law is not subject to the Protection of Competition Law.
The Competition Board recently published a reasoned decision after a preliminary investigation of oil refiner Türkiye Petrol Rafinerileri AŞ (TUPRA) following allegations by fuel company Akaryakıt Ana Dağıtım Şirketleri Derneği that TUPRA's turnover premium system would further strengthen the largest distributors in the fuel distribution market, where profit margins are relatively low.
The Competition Authority recently published its annual Mergers and Acquisitions Status Report for 2015. The report provides information and a statistical overview of the concentrations that the authority reviewed in 2015, in terms of monetary value, sector, transaction type and the origin of parties. The report reveals that the Competition Authority reviewed 159 transactions in 2015, eight of which involved the privatisation of public companies.
The Competition Board recently published its reasoned decision regarding Anadolu Endüstri Holding AŞ's acquisition of control over Migros Ticaret AŞ. Following an in-depth Phase II review of the transaction due to competition concerns, the board granted conditional approval based on the commitments that Anadolu submitted. The commitments provide further guidance regarding potential remedies for addressing coordination concerns.
The Competition Authority recently issued a draft block exemption communiqué on research and development (R&D) agreements, which sets out revised rules for the block exemption regime applicable to R&D agreements in Turkey. The draft communiqué reflects the authority's practice of closely following developments in EU competition law and attempting to retain harmony between EU and Turkish competition law instruments.
The Competition Board recently conducted a pre-investigation into allegations that the Turkish Football Federation's age restrictions and quotas on footballers in the Third League and the Regional Amateur League were anti-competitive. The board found that the restrictions did not impede the activities of footballers or football clubs, as the scope of the restrictions was limited to those two leagues.
The Competition Board recently granted conditional approval of NV Bekaert SA's acquisition of Pirelli Tyre SpA's steel tyre cord business. This is the first case in which the board has approved commitments aimed at the protection of customers and also sets a precedent as the board's conditional approval was based solely on behavioural remedies provided during the Phase 2 review.
Three places on the Competition Board that were vacant for almost three months have now been filled. The appointments were long awaited as the board has been unable to make decisions on any matter since April 2015, when it lost the required quorum after three members left their positions. Hence, final decisions concerning merger control, pre-investigations and investigations have since been pending.
The Competition Board recently granted full immunity to a member of a cartel that submitted a leniency application immediately after the Competition Authority had launched its investigation. The board's decision establishes that as long as the leniency application has sufficient content and added value for an investigation, the timing of the application is not an obstacle to the grant of full immunity.
The Competition Authority recently published a status report on mergers and acquisitions. The report aims to provide insight into transactions filed with the authority during 2014. Transactions that were notified to the authority but which did not exceed the applicable turnover thresholds were also included. The report shows that the total number of notified transactions in 2014 was similar to that in 2013.
The Competition Authority recently concluded its inquiry into the wholesale and retail electricity market. The inquiry analysed the liberalisation process, the wholesale electricity market, the retail electricity market and relevant institutions. The Competition Authority concluded that liberalisation had not yet created the required level of competitiveness in the wholesale and retail electricity markets.
The Competition Board recently reassessed its decision on the acquisition of Super League broadcasting rights following the 10th Administrative Court of Ankara's suspension of execution decision. The board launched an investigation to determine whether an agreement between the Turkish Football Federation and a broadcasting organisation violated Article 4 of the Law on the Protection of Competition.
The Competition Authority recently published a status report on mergers and acquisitions. The report aims to provide an insight into transactions filed before the authority in the first half of 2014. When compared to the report published in 2013, it is clear that there has been a remarkable decrease in the transactional value of the merger filings notified to the authority.
In a recent decision the 13th Circuit of the High State of Council annulled the Competition Board's decision in Siemens san ve Tic AŞ. This is another example of an action in which the High State of Council has examined the merits of a case. Over the last few years there has been an increasing trend of the administrative courts delving into the details of Competition Board decisions and challenging them on their merits.
The Competition Board recently initiated an inquiry into the cement production sector to identify the source of competitive problems in the cement sector and introduce structural or behavioural solutions to those problems. The main reason for the board's decision is the importance of the cement sector to the construction sector – one of the most important sectors in the domestic economy
The Competition Authority recently published its 15th Annual Activity Report, in which it provided relevant data on the number of cases concluded in 2013. The authority has commented that the number of concluded cases has declined significantly when compared with previous years. In the report, the authority has cited its introduction of two new communiqués as reasons for the decline.
The Competition Authority recently released its Draft Regulation on Administrative Monetary Fines for Infringement of the Law on the Protection of Competition for public consultation. The draft regulation introduces a limit on the definition of 'turnover' and amends the methods for calculating fines. The draft regulation also provides specific examples of serious violations of competition law.
It appears that long-awaited amendments to the Law on the Protection of Competition may finally be on the agenda following a recent announcement by Parliament that a draft law containing the amendments has been officially added to its drafts and proposals list. Among other things, the draft law introduces a de minimis rule and proposes several significant changes to concentration provisions.
The Competition Board recently published its Guidelines on the Conditions Accepted as Mergers and Acquisitions and the Concept of Control. The guidelines discuss a variety of important topics with respect to mergers and acquisitions and the circumstances under which concentrations must be notified under the Law on the Protection of Competition. These topics include negative control and conditions of full functionality.
One of the most significant developments with respect to Turkish competition law over the past two months has been the opening of public consultation in relation to the Draft Guidelines on the Abusive Exclusionary Conduct by Dominant Undertakings. Although the guidelines are still in draft form, they aim to address the lack of competition legislation on the behaviour of dominant undertakings.