Turkey: The Board published its reasoned decision on the preliminary investigation conducted against Türk Telekomünikasyon A.Ş. and TTNET A.Ş.

Last Updated: 15 June 2017

The Board published its reasoned decision on the preliminary investigation conducted against Türk Telekomünikasyon A.Ş. and TTNET A.Ş. (09.02.2017, 17-06/53-20)

The Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) recently published its reasoned decision on the preliminary investigation conducted against Türk Telekomünikasyon A.Ş. (“Türk Telekom”) and TTNET A.Ş. (“TTNET”), based on Ankanet Ses Veri İletişim Ticaret Ltd. Şti.’s (“Ankanet”) allegations that TNNET has increased its subscribers’ effective subscription period to 48 months, by way of the campaigns it offers (especially through one campaign titled “Hafifleten Internet Kampanyası”) which gave rise to an increase in its competitor’s costs for gaining new subscribers and that the relevant campaigns constitute below cost prices.

Türk Telekom is an undertaking which offers fixed phone, mobile phone, data and internet related and value added services in Turkey. TTNET is established as the service provider of Türk Telekom Group and besides internet service provider (“ISP”) services, it is also authorized by the Information and Communication Technologies Authority (“ICTA”) within the fields of infrastructure operation services, cable TV services, fixes phone services, virtual mobile network services, satellite communication services and satellite platform services. In addition it is authorized by Radio and Television Supreme Council (“RTSC”) in the fields of cable broadcast platform operation and satellite broadcast platform operation. TTNET also provides pay TV services through OTT, IPTV and satellite technologies. Ankanet is an ISP which offers fixed broadband internet services in Ankara through fixed wireless broadband access infrastructure.

In its assessment, the Board firstly defined the relevant product markets related to wholesale and retail levels of the broadband internet services market. In this regard, by making reference to its decision dated 19.12.2013 and numbered 13-71/992-423, the Board indicated that even though the mobile internet speed and the related data consumption has increased by way of 4.5G, mobile network still cannot be considered substitutable with fixed broadband internet services and that the package characteristics of mobile and fixed broadband services are different from one another. In light of the above, the Board defined the retail level of the market as “retail fixed broadband internet access services market”, comprising DSL, cable and fiber technologies. Furthermore, by making reference to its decision dated 19.12.2013 and numbered 13-71/992-423 and its decision dated 05.02.2015 and numbered 15-06/74-31, the Board defined the relevant product market related to the wholesale level as “wholesale fixed broadband internet access services”. The Board defined the relevant geographical market as “Turkey”.

Subsequently, the Board evaluated the allegations in scope of the case file, and indicated that the relevant allegations should be assessed in scope of the paragraph (a) of the Article 6 (prohibiting abuse of dominance) of the Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition (“Law No. 4054”), which reads as follows: “Preventing, directly or indirectly, another undertaking from entering into the area of commercial activity, or actions aimed at complicating the activities of competitors in the market.” In this regard, the Board firstly assessed whether Türk Telekom and TTNET are in a dominant position in the “wholesale fixed broadband internet access services market” and “retail fixed broadband internet access services market”.

With regards to its assessment on the wholesale level, the Board made reference to its decision dated 19.12.2013 and numbered 13-71/992-423, where it was indicated that due to Türk Telekom’s significantly high level of market share and in addition to several factors such as (i) the investments made to the access networks are significantly high and constitute sunk investments, (ii) there are significant administrative and legal barriers before the network investments, (iii) the existence of high levels of economies of scope and scale, (iv) the lack of ISPs buyer power opposed to Türk Telekom and (v) Türk Telekom being deemed as the undertaking with efficient market power by ICTA; Türk Telekom was determined to be in a dominant position within the wholesale fixed broadband internet access services. The Board found that since the date of the decision indicated above, there has not been any development within the sector, which could alter the evaluations above. In this regard, the Board decided that Türk Telekom is in a dominant position within the “wholesale fixed broadband internet access services market”. With regards to the retail level, due to several factors such as (i) TTNET’s high market share that is disproportionate with its competitors, (ii) entry barriers within the market, (iii) low level of buyer power and (iv) the evaluations within the previous Board decisions dated 19.11.2008 and numbered 08-65/1055-411 and dated 19.12.2013 and numbered 13-71/992-423, the Board decided that TTNET is in a dominant position within the “retail fixed broadband internet access services market”.

Afterwards, the Board proceeded to its assessment regarding TTNET’s campaigns that comprise commitment periods. The Board firstly indicated that as ICTA did not declare that TTNET is an undertaking with efficient market power and TTNET’s campaigns similar to the campaign titled “Hafifleten Internet Kampanyası”, are not subject to ICTA’s regulative authorities; however, the content, commitment periods, and prices of the relevant campaigns are determined according the competitive conditions within the relevant market. In this respect, the Board indicated that even though TTNET’s competitors also offer similar kinds of campaigns with TTNET, as TTNET is in a dominant position within the “retail fixed broadband internet access services market”, it is entrusted with a set of obligations derived from its dominant position within the framework of competition law. The Board stated that, due to TTNET’s vertically integrated structure, it may have the opportunity to use the wholesale internet service it procures from the undertaking that it is vertically integrated within the upstream market, for the purpose of selling the relevant service in the downstream market below cost or subsidizing its damages in the downstream market from the upstream market (margin squeeze theory). In addition the Board evaluated that long commitment periods (such as the 48 month commitment period of TTNET’s campaign subject to the case file at hand) may give rise to competition law concerns by way of increasing the costs of the competitors for gaining new customers and therefore to market foreclosure. In this regard, the Board indicated that in line with the allegations subject to the case file, its dual assessment will consist of (i) TTNET increasing its campaign commitment period to 48 months and (ii) whether these campaigns give rise to below cost price applications in the retail internet services market.

With regards to the long commitment durations and exclusivity, the Board assessed the previous Commission decisions and the Guidelines on the Assessment of Abusive Conduct by Undertakings with Dominant Position (“Guidelines”) and came to the conclusion that the criteria indicated below are taken into consideration within both of the jurisdictions, for the purposes of the evaluation of long term exclusivity in terms of market foreclosure:

  1. The portion that is derived from exclusivity from the dominant undertakings’ sales amongst the total sales in the market.
  2. The duration of the exclusivity.
  3. The general outlook of the competition in the market; principally the entry barriers.
  4. The existence of efficiency justifications which contribute to the consumers’ welfare.

With regards to the analysis on whether TTNET’s campaigns in question gave rise to below cost price applications in the retail internet services market, the Board indicated that the relevant analysis can be evaluated in scope margin squeezing (that is a kind of below cost pricing), considering that TTNET, that is in a dominant position within the downstream market is in the same economic entity with Türk Telekom, that is in a dominant position within the upstream market. In this regard, the Board indicated that in its decisional practice and literature, the common competition law concern for evaluations related to long-term agreements with exclusivity and margin squeezing is whether a large portion of the market is foreclosed to the competitors due to the foreclosure effects on the customers. Therefore, in order to determine whether TTNET applied margin squeezing applications through the relevant campaigns, the Board conducted revenue-cost analysis for the campaign in question and assessed the effect of the relevant campaign on the relevant market.  As a result of the revenue-cost analysis, the Board found no evidence suggesting that TTNET applies below cost prices by way of its dominant position in the retail fixed broadband internet access services market or the advantage derived from the fact that it is within the same economic entity with Türk Telekom. The Board also found no evidence suggesting that it applies margin squeezing between the downstream and upstream markets that its competitors cannot match. As a result of its analysis on the effects of the relevant campaign towards the relevant market, the Board found that the number of subscribers that have switched to Hafifleten Internet Kampanyası and other proactive campaigns were limited during the period under review and the portion of the market that was closed to competition is not broad enough to give rise to competition law concerns. Therefore, the Board concluded that the commitment agreements do not lead to market foreclosure.

In light of the evaluations above, the Board did not initiate a full-fledged investigation.

This document is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. You should not act or rely on any information in this document without first seeking legal advice. This material is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. If you have any specific questions on any legal matter, you should consult a professional legal services provider.

To print this article, all you need is to be registered on Mondaq.com.

Click to Login as an existing user or Register so you can print this article.

Contact the Author?
Click here to email the Author
Some comments from our readers…
“The articles are extremely timely and highly applicable”
“I often find critical information not available elsewhere”
“As in-house counsel, Mondaq’s service is of great value”

Other Turkey Advice Centres
Intellectual Property
Privacy and Data Protection
More Advice Centers
Significant Recent Cases
Turkish Competition Board case summaries.
Useful Resources
A collection of articles, essays and reports written by our experts.
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of competition law practice in Turkey, we have written and published an academic publication we hope will be valuable to the global discussion and study of competition law issues. The book is comprised of 12 academic articles and is a collaborative effort of lawyers specialising in competition law at ELIG Gürkaynak, including junior associates and novices in the field, in addition to Gönenç Gürkaynak’s own extensive contribution to each and every article.
The most recent developments within our firm and practice areas.
Upcoming Events
Information on upcoming or recent events and conferences hosted by ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law.
ELIG Gürkaynak has hosted a Turkish competition law webinar in collaboration with Lexology. During the webinar, head of our competition law and regulatory practice, Mr. Gönenç Gürkaynak, introduces remedies and Phase II reviews under the Turkish merger control regime.
Font Size:
Mondaq on Twitter
Register for Access and our Free Biweekly Alert for
This service is completely free. Access 250,000 archived articles from 100+ countries and get a personalised email twice a week covering developments (and yes, our lawyers like to think you’ve read our Disclaimer).
Email Address
Company Name
Confirm Password
Mondaq Topics -- Select your Interests
 Law Performance
 Law Practice
 Media & IT
 Real Estate
 Wealth Mgt
Asia Pacific
European Union
Latin America
Middle East
United States
Worldwide Updates
Registration (you must scroll down to set your data preferences)

Mondaq Ltd requires you to register and provide information that personally identifies you, including your content preferences, for three primary purposes (full details of Mondaq’s use of your personal data can be found in our Privacy and Cookies Notice):

  • To allow you to personalize the Mondaq websites you are visiting to show content ("Content") relevant to your interests.
  • To enable features such as password reminder, news alerts, email a colleague, and linking from Mondaq (and its affiliate sites) to your website.
  • To produce demographic feedback for our content providers ("Contributors") who contribute Content for free for your use.

Mondaq hopes that our registered users will support us in maintaining our free to view business model by consenting to our use of your personal data as described below.

Mondaq has a "free to view" business model. Our services are paid for by Contributors in exchange for Mondaq providing them with access to information about who accesses their content. Once personal data is transferred to our Contributors they become a data controller of this personal data. They use it to measure the response that their articles are receiving, as a form of market research. They may also use it to provide Mondaq users with information about their products and services.

Details of each Contributor to which your personal data will be transferred is clearly stated within the Content that you access. For full details of how this Contributor will use your personal data, you should review the Contributor’s own Privacy Notice.

Please indicate your preference below:

Yes, I am happy to support Mondaq in maintaining its free to view business model by agreeing to allow Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors whose Content I access
No, I do not want Mondaq to share my personal data with Contributors

Also please let us know whether you are happy to receive communications promoting products and services offered by Mondaq:

Yes, I am happy to received promotional communications from Mondaq
No, please do not send me promotional communications from Mondaq
Terms & Conditions

Mondaq.com (the Website) is owned and managed by Mondaq Ltd (Mondaq). Mondaq grants you a non-exclusive, revocable licence to access the Website and associated services, such as the Mondaq News Alerts (Services), subject to and in consideration of your compliance with the following terms and conditions of use (Terms). Your use of the Website and/or Services constitutes your agreement to the Terms. Mondaq may terminate your use of the Website and Services if you are in breach of these Terms or if Mondaq decides to terminate the licence granted hereunder for any reason whatsoever.

Use of www.mondaq.com

To Use Mondaq.com you must be: eighteen (18) years old or over; legally capable of entering into binding contracts; and not in any way prohibited by the applicable law to enter into these Terms in the jurisdiction which you are currently located.

You may use the Website as an unregistered user, however, you are required to register as a user if you wish to read the full text of the Content or to receive the Services.

You may not modify, publish, transmit, transfer or sell, reproduce, create derivative works from, distribute, perform, link, display, or in any way exploit any of the Content, in whole or in part, except as expressly permitted in these Terms or with the prior written consent of Mondaq. You may not use electronic or other means to extract details or information from the Content. Nor shall you extract information about users or Contributors in order to offer them any services or products.

In your use of the Website and/or Services you shall: comply with all applicable laws, regulations, directives and legislations which apply to your Use of the Website and/or Services in whatever country you are physically located including without limitation any and all consumer law, export control laws and regulations; provide to us true, correct and accurate information and promptly inform us in the event that any information that you have provided to us changes or becomes inaccurate; notify Mondaq immediately of any circumstances where you have reason to believe that any Intellectual Property Rights or any other rights of any third party may have been infringed; co-operate with reasonable security or other checks or requests for information made by Mondaq from time to time; and at all times be fully liable for the breach of any of these Terms by a third party using your login details to access the Website and/or Services

however, you shall not: do anything likely to impair, interfere with or damage or cause harm or distress to any persons, or the network; do anything that will infringe any Intellectual Property Rights or other rights of Mondaq or any third party; or use the Website, Services and/or Content otherwise than in accordance with these Terms; use any trade marks or service marks of Mondaq or the Contributors, or do anything which may be seen to take unfair advantage of the reputation and goodwill of Mondaq or the Contributors, or the Website, Services and/or Content.

Mondaq reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to take any action that it deems necessary and appropriate in the event it considers that there is a breach or threatened breach of the Terms.

Mondaq’s Rights and Obligations

Unless otherwise expressly set out to the contrary, nothing in these Terms shall serve to transfer from Mondaq to you, any Intellectual Property Rights owned by and/or licensed to Mondaq and all rights, title and interest in and to such Intellectual Property Rights will remain exclusively with Mondaq and/or its licensors.

Mondaq shall use its reasonable endeavours to make the Website and Services available to you at all times, but we cannot guarantee an uninterrupted and fault free service.

Mondaq reserves the right to make changes to the services and/or the Website or part thereof, from time to time, and we may add, remove, modify and/or vary any elements of features and functionalities of the Website or the services.

Mondaq also reserves the right from time to time to monitor your Use of the Website and/or services.


The Content is general information only. It is not intended to constitute legal advice or seek to be the complete and comprehensive statement of the law, nor is it intended to address your specific requirements or provide advice on which reliance should be placed. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers make no representations about the suitability of the information contained in the Content for any purpose. All Content provided "as is" without warranty of any kind. Mondaq and/or its Contributors and other suppliers hereby exclude and disclaim all representations, warranties or guarantees with regard to the Content, including all implied warranties and conditions of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. To the maximum extent permitted by law, Mondaq expressly excludes all representations, warranties, obligations, and liabilities arising out of or in connection with all Content. In no event shall Mondaq and/or its respective suppliers be liable for any special, indirect or consequential damages or any damages whatsoever resulting from loss of use, data or profits, whether in an action of contract, negligence or other tortious action, arising out of or in connection with the use of the Content or performance of Mondaq’s Services.


Mondaq may alter or amend these Terms by amending them on the Website. By continuing to Use the Services and/or the Website after such amendment, you will be deemed to have accepted any amendment to these Terms.

These Terms shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of England and Wales and you irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales to settle any dispute which may arise out of or in connection with these Terms. If you live outside the United Kingdom, English law shall apply only to the extent that English law shall not deprive you of any legal protection accorded in accordance with the law of the place where you are habitually resident ("Local Law"). In the event English law deprives you of any legal protection which is accorded to you under Local Law, then these terms shall be governed by Local Law and any dispute or claim arising out of or in connection with these Terms shall be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts where you are habitually resident.

You may print and keep a copy of these Terms, which form the entire agreement between you and Mondaq and supersede any other communications or advertising in respect of the Service and/or the Website.

No delay in exercising or non-exercise by you and/or Mondaq of any of its rights under or in connection with these Terms shall operate as a waiver or release of each of your or Mondaq’s right. Rather, any such waiver or release must be specifically granted in writing signed by the party granting it.

If any part of these Terms is held unenforceable, that part shall be enforced to the maximum extent permissible so as to give effect to the intent of the parties, and the Terms shall continue in full force and effect.

Mondaq shall not incur any liability to you on account of any loss or damage resulting from any delay or failure to perform all or any part of these Terms if such delay or failure is caused, in whole or in part, by events, occurrences, or causes beyond the control of Mondaq. Such events, occurrences or causes will include, without limitation, acts of God, strikes, lockouts, server and network failure, riots, acts of war, earthquakes, fire and explosions.

By clicking Register you state you have read and agree to our Terms and Conditions