The Competition Board recently published its reasoned decision on the Tyre Industrialist Association's application for an exemption for its Waste Management Strategies and Implementation Plan for Worn-out Tyres 2016 to 2020. The board decided that the association's proposal would not limit competition in a manner which would violate Law 4054 on the Protection of Competition and granted an individual five-year exemption.
Following an 18-month investigation, the Competition Board recently found that Mey İçki held a dominant position in the vodka and gin markets. However, the board had already examined Mey İçki's alleged practices and imposed penalties in its earlier decision on the raki market. As such, the board accepted the non bis in idem defence and concluded that Mey İçki should not be subject to an administrative fine.
Following a 16-month investigation, the Competition Board recently published the outcome of a high-profile investigation into the ready-mixed concrete market. After evaluating the evidence, written defences and investigation file, the board decided not to render administrative fines, concluding that none of the undertakings had violated Article 4 of Law 4054.
The Competition Board recently published a reasoned decision following its investigation into whether the Pharmacists' Association and the Pharmacists' Association Commercial Enterprise had violated Article 6 of Law 4054 on the Protection of Competition by abusing their dominant position in the market for the supply of pharmaceuticals from abroad through their exclusivity practices and other actions.
The Competition Authority recently published its annual Mergers and Acquisitions Status Report for 2016. The report reveals that the authority reviewed 209 transactions in 2016. Nine of these involved the privatisation of public companies, while 191 were notifiable M&A transactions (excluding privatisations). This marks an increase compared with 2015, when the Competition Authority examined 159 merger control cases, of which 141 were notifiable transactions (excluding privatisations).
Communique 2017/2 on the Amendment of Communique 2010/4 on Mergers and Acquisitions Subject to the Approval of the Competition Board recently entered into force. Although no statutory rule on whether parties can close a public bid on a listed company before obtaining Competition Board approval existed in Turkey until the communique's promulgation, Competition Board case law had started to clarify this matter. However, legislative guidance on this type of concentration is most welcome.
The New Block Exemption Communique 2017/3 for Vertical Agreements in the Motor Vehicle Sector in Turkey was recently published in the Official Gazette. The communique was triggered by the reform of the restrictive provisions of Law 1400/2002 (particularly with regard to the sale of motor vehicles) in line with EU Regulation 461/2010. The Competition Board is expected to publish a set of guidelines which will provide further details regarding the communique's implementation.
The Turkish Competition Board recently published a decision following its preliminary investigation into allegations of an abuse of dominant position in the basic chromium sulphate market by way of excessive pricing. The decision demonstrates how the competition authorities will evaluate the theory and application of excessive pricing and the factors that they will consider when determining whether there has been an abuse of dominance by way of such practice.
The Competition Authority recently published an inquiry report into the cement sector. The report includes a detailed assessment of the grey cement sector's market structure and the conduct of market players, general background information on cement products and the sector in general and an assessment of the sector's competitive dynamics. The main competition law issues that the report highlights are high price increases and market division.
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.