Turkey: Turkish Competition Board

The Turkish Competition Board fined Türk Telekomünikasyon A.Ş. and TTNet A.Ş. (jointly and severally) for abusing their dominant position in the wholesale broadband internet access market and retail broadband internet access market by charging anti-competitive tariffs for access to the local networks

Following the investigation launched by the Turkish Competition Board ("the Board") on 7.5.2007, the Board, on November 19, 2008 adopted a fining decision against Türk Telekomünikasyon A.Ş. ("Türk Telekom")1 and TTNet A.Ş. ("TTNet")2 for abusing their dominant position through unfair pricing practices for the provision of local access to its fixed telecommunications network.

In its ultimate decision, the Board has resolved as follows;

  1. The economic unit comprised by Türk Telekom and TTNet enjoys a dominant position in the wholesale broadband internet access market and retail broadband internet access market,
  2. The relevant economic unit abused its dominant position in the wholesale broadband Internet access market through price squeezing in the retail broadband internet access market and thus violated Article 6 of Law No. 4054 on Competition,
  3. Türk Telekom shall refrain from applying any kind of conduct (framework of which will be set out in the reasoned decision) that might result in margin squeezing,
  4. Due to the relevant economic units' market practices which violated Article 6 of Law No. 4054 on Competition, administrative monetary fine amounting to TRY 12,394,781.16 based on their total turnover generated in the relevant product market by the end of the fiscal year 2007 shall be imposed on Türk Telekom and TTNet (jointly and severally).

While the reasoned decision is not available for the time being, there is a strong implication3 that the interim measure decision of the Board with regard to a campaign -which is called "Summer Storm"- carried out by Türk Telekom actually seems to be the herald for the merits of the Board's reasoned decision to be issued.

Against all historical reluctance of the Board in engaging cost and price analysis in antitrust cases, in order to figure out whether the whole sale prices of Türk Telekom applied to TTNet are predatory or not, in the interim measure decision the Board appeared to have delved into the details of each cost item of the claimed "Summer Storm "campaign.

Subsequent to the evaluation of the each cost item, the Board has come to the conclusion that (i) each package of the Summer Storm campaign was being sold under cost price (ii) through the "Summer Storm" campaign, Türk Telekom structured its wholesale and retail prices in such a way that the margin between them did not allow competitors to compete on the market without making losses (iii) through this so-called "margin squeeze"4, Türk Telekom might insulate itself from the rigors of competition by making it impossible for alternative broadband suppliers to enter the market on a commercially-viable basis and (iv) continuance of such campaigns might cause serious and irreparable damages on the competitors in the retail broadband internet access market.5

Although the interim measure decision provides useful clues with respect to the content of the ultimate decision and prima facie overview of the case strongly suggest that the case at hand is no different than its kinds issued by the European Commission6, the healthiest and most insightful evaluation of this significant decision remains to be made after the issuance of the reasoned decision.

On a different but quite important note, in its ultimate decision, the Board indicated that the administrative monetary fine amounting to TRY 12,394,781.16 was calculated over the economic units' (comprised by Türk Telekom. and TTNet) total turnover generated in the relevant product market by the end of the fiscal year 2007 rather than the whole turnover (also including turnover generated from different markets which are completely separated from the relevant product market where the violation occurs) of the relevant economic unit. Given the fact that in antitrust cases the Board consistently employed the whole turnover of the undertakings that are evaluated in the breach of competition law as the sole calculation tool and refrained from just taking into consideration the turnover generated from the relevant product market, if no different position is taken in the reasoned decision, such an approach could be a breakthrough in the calculation of fines under Turkish competition law regime.


1. Incumbent telecommunication services operator and therefore the sole wholesale broadband internet access provider of Turkey.

2. Dominant undertaking in the retail broadband internet access market, which is under the sole control of Türk Telekom.

3. In the interim measure decision, it has been explicitly stated that the claims put forward by Tellcom are in parallel with the subject of the ongoing investigation launched against Türk Telekom and TTNet. See Turkish Competition Board's Tellcom-Türk Telekom decision dated 11.7.2007 and numbered 07-59/676-235.

4. Margin squeeze refers to situations in which a vertically-integrated dominant undertaking uses its control over an input supplied to downstream rivals to prevent them from making a profit on a downstream market in which the dominant undertaking is also active. The dominant undertaking could in theory do this in a number of different ways:

  • raise the input price to levels at which rivals could no longer sustain a profit downstream.
  • engage in below-cost selling in the downstream market, while maintaining a profit overall through the sale of the upstream input.
  • raise the price of the upstream input and lower the price of the downstream retail product to create a margin between them at which a rival could not be profitable.

5. It is also noteworthy that in the interim decision, the Board has conducted its cost and price analysis for a period of 24 and 48 months (which are the subscription lengths to the campaign in question). While the Board initially made an analysis on the basis of 24 months, by taking into consideration European Commission's Wanadoo decision dynamics, (see COMP/38.233), it has expanded the period to be taken into account closely to 48 months.

6. See the following European Commission cases COMP/C-1/37.451, 37.578, 37.579 - Deutsche Telekom (2003), COMP/38.233 Wanadoo (2003) and ), COMP/38.784 Telefonica S.A..

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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.

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”

Related Topics
Related Articles
Up-coming Events Search
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