The Competition Board (the
"Board") recently concluded its investigations in the
Turkish motor vehicles sector and the banking sector. The Board
imposed record fines against the investigated undertakings in both
The Competition Authority commenced
its investigation against 23 undertakings active in the passenger
cars and light commercial vehicles sectors in September 2009, in
order to determine whether the investigated undertakings violated
the Competition Law by way of an agreement or concerted practices.
It was alleged that the investigated undertakings discussed future
pricing policies, stock data, sales targets and sales strategies.
The Board decided that the investigated undertakings violated
Article 4 of the Competition Law (akin to Article 101 of the Treaty
on the Functioning of the European Union) and imposed fines against
15 of the investigated undertakings. The fines totaled up to
approximately 277 million TL. This is by far the largest amount of
fine that has ever been imposed by the Board. ELIG
Attorneys-at-Law represented Mercedes-Benz Türk
A.Ş. in this matter; an entity receiving the lowest
percentage of fine with 0,3% at the end of this investigation. Once
the reasoned decision is issued, it is expected to have ground
breaking impact on the principles of information exchange and the
proof standards concerning restrictive agreements, when alleged
together with allegations of systematic exchange of sensitive
The Board has also recently
concluded its investigation in the Turkish banking sector.
Following its investigation, which commenced in the summer of 2009,
regarding a "gentlemen's agreement" between eight
banks of Turkey in the salary promotion sector, the Board decided
that the investigated banks violated the Competition Law by way of
an agreement and imposed fines totaling up to approximately 72
million TL. Aside from this, the decision also bears importance
from another point of view. Although the reasoned decision is not
yet published, we can understand that the Board based its fining
decision on the portion of the turnovers of the investigated banks
that were generated in the relevant market. While in majority of
its precedents, the Board based its fining decisions on the total
Turkish turnovers of the investigated undertakings, the reasons
behind the Board splitting from this path will be revealed once the
reasoned decision is published. ELIG Attorneys-at-Law represented
Finans Bank A.Ş. in this matter; an entity receiving the
lowest percentage of fine with 0,3% at the end of this
investigation. Once the reasoned decision is issued, it is expected
to result in a significant tool of interpretation on the interface
between the unfair trade practices (unfair competition) rules of
the Turkish Commercial Law, and the provisions of the Turkish
competition law (i.e. Law No. 4054 on the Protection of
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about your specific circumstances.
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