Turkey: Turkish Competition Board

New season warms up as the Turkish Competition Board turns the spotlight on automotive, pharmaceutical, banking and media sectors by initiating four new cartel investigations

Subsequent to the amendments to Law no. 4054 on the Protection of Competition ("Law No. 4054"), by way putting into effect Law no. 57281 , the Turkish anti trust regime introduced stricter and more deterrent fining regime, coupled with a leniency and immunity program for companies. In light of this trend, the Turkish Competition Authority ("the Board") had been busy over the last year trying to reinforce the cartel regulations with the new Regulation on Active Cooperation for Discovery of Cartels ("Regulation on Leniency") which entered into force in February, 2009. Although couple of investigations, such as the Peugeot distributors investigation, were launched following the new set of rules, it would not be wrong to state that the Board has been rather on hold for the last couple of months.

At the end of August however, first of the four investigations was revealed by the Board. The Board announced on August 25, 2009 that with its decisions dated 19.8.2009 and 24.8.2009, it launched an investigation against the eight largest banks of Turkey, namely, Türkiye Garanti Bankası A.Ş., Akbank T. A.Ş., Türkiye İş Bankası A.Ş., Yapı ve Kredi Bankası A.Ş., Türkiye Vakıflar Bankası T. A.O., Finans Bank A.Ş., Denizbank A.Ş., Yapı ve Kredi Bankası A.Ş. (for the activities of Koçbank A.Ş.) and T. Halk Bankası A.Ş. (for the activities of Pamukbank T. A.Ş.).

It has been announced that the investigation was launched by basing on the allegations that the above mentioned banks have agreed upon the rebates which are offered to public and private institutions regarding their salary payments.

The Board has also declined the complaints alleging Garanti Bankası A.Ş., Akbank T. A.Ş. and HSBC Bank A.Ş. for having agreed upon the salary rebates to be paid to the personnel of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism as no evidence was found.

Next up in the list was Doğan Holding, which is the largest media group in Turkey active in both written and visual media as well as other sectors. Following the investigations conducted regarding the complaints alleging that Doğan Yayın Holding A.Ş., Hürriyet Gazetecilik ve Matbaacılık A.Ş., Doğan Gazetecilik A.Ş., Bağımsız Gazeteciler Yayıncılık A.Ş. and Doğan Daily News Gazetecilik ve Matbaacılık A.Ş. have breached the Law no. 4054 on Protection of Competition with their activities in the sales of advertisement spots in written media (newspapers), the Turkish Competition Board has decided to launch a fully fledged investigation towards the said undertakings, which are all part of the Doğan media group, to determine whether an infringement has really occurred.

September 30, 2009 was also an important day for the Board as it shook the competition law circles in Turkey with two new investigations. First, the Board has stepped up to execute one of the largest scale investigations in the automotive sector. The investigation covers almost all of the automobile manufacturers and importers in Turkey with nineteen companies on the hook. The Board announced that the reason behind this investigation is the allegations of the said companies sharing target and stock information and sales and price strategies since 2006.

The second news of the same day (i.e. September) was the investigation launched towards the Turkish Pharmacists' Association. The Board decided to investigate the said association on the basis of the allegations that the Turkish Pharmacists' Association has urged the pharmacies to boycott a number of drug manufacturers and importers for decreasing the discounts and terms offered to pharmacies, thus determining, from outside the market, the purchase conditions of pharmacies.

Together with these investigations and the flat steel decision2, whose reasoned decision was revealed on September 29, 2009, the Board has shown very clearly that it will not tolerate any actions hindering or obstructing competition in Turkey. As a reminder, the Board, after conducting the necessary investigations in the market for flat steel, imposed a fine of over 20 million TL to Ereğli Demir Çelik Fabrikaları T. A.Ş., which is one of the largest steel manufacturer in Turkey, and a total fine of over 23.5 million TL to three undertakings. It is also noteworthy to mention that this decision has now taken its place in the hall of fame as the highest fine imposed to one company and the highest fine imposed to multiple companies rendered on the basis of Article 43 of Law No. 4054.

A careful consideration of the new developments revealed that the Turkish Competition Authority is quite anxious to trigger its investigative powers under the new concept of cartel enforcement, and that it is getting more and more determined in its combat against cartels and other forms of anticompetitive conduct.


1. Law No. 5728 Amending Certain Laws for the Harmonization with the Fundamental Criminal Laws, which entered into force on February 8, 2008.

2. Turkish Competition Board's decision dated 16.6.2009 and numbered 09-28/600-141.

3. Article 4 of Law No. 4054 reads as follows; "All agreements between undertakings, decisions by associations of undertakings and concerted practices which have or may have as their object or effect the prevention, restriction or distortion of competition within a Turkish product or services market or a part thereof are prohibited."

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