The Board published its reasoned decision on the preliminary investigation conducted against the Chamber of Forest Engineering (13.10.2016, 16-33/561-242)
The Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) recently published its reasoned decision on the preliminary investigation conducted against the Chamber of Forest Engineering (“CFE”), based on the allegations that the CFE publishes minimum price tariffs and imposes punishments on the members of the profession by prohibiting them from exercising the profession.
The Board firstly found that CFE, which is established in scope of the Code of Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects, numbered 6235 (“Law No. 6235”) and conducts activities subject to the Union of Chambers of Turkish Engineers and Architects, (“Union”) is a professional organization with public institution status, as indicated under Article 135 of the Turkish Constitution. The Board also indicated that the CFE is entrusted with various tasks related to forestry under the Code of Forest Engineering, Forest Industry Engineering and Woodworking Industry Engineering, numbered 5531 (“Law No 5531”). Furthermore, the Board evaluated that the CFE is deemed as an association of undertakings, as defined under Article 3 of Law No. 4054.
In its evaluation, the Board assessed the Board’s and the courts’ previous decisions regarding the similar applications of various other associations of undertakings’. As a result of its evaluation, the Board found that when assessing the complaints towards associations of undertakings, it should be determined whether the practices subject to the complaints are based on legal grounds. The Board stated that so long as the practices of the associations of undertakings remain in the framework of authorities granted by law and the related legislation, the Board will not establish any decisions regarding the relevant practices; however could send an opinion to the relevant institutions regarding the practices which have the potential to restrict competition. On the other hand, the Board’s approach differs when the practices in question, which have the potential to restrict competition, are not based on legal grounds. In this case, the Board may impose administrative fines on the associations of undertakings concerned, file lawsuit for the annulment of the legislation which form the basis of the practices or send an opinion for ceasing the practices.
In light of the explanations above, with regards to the case at hand, the Board found that the CFE’s practices subject to the allegations are completely based on the explicit authority granted by Article 13 of Law No. 5531 and therefore a decision cannot be established with regards to the practices subject to the allegations. In light of the previous decisions of the Board, the Board also refrained sending an opinion to the relevant institutions; however further stated that the Article 13 of Law No 5531, which forms the basis of the CFE’s practices, has been addressed to as a provision which interferes with market prices, in scope of the Competition Report titled Scanning the Turkish Legislation from a Competition Law Perspective, published by the Competition Authority in 2015.
 The 13th Council of State’s decision dated 05.01.2010 and numbered 2007/2748 E., 2010/8 K ; the 12th Ankara Administrative Court’s decision dated 19.11.2014 and numbered 2014/978 E.
 The Board’s decision dated 22.01.2002 and numbered 02-04/40-21; the Board decision dated 02.11.2006 and numbered 06-79/1021-295
 The Board’s decision dated 16.05.2007 and numbered 07-41/453-M
 The Board’s decision dated 02.12.2015 and numbered 15-42/688-245
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.
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