The Turkish Competition Authority (“the Authority”) was established on December 7, 1994. It has been effectively operational since 1997. It aims to ensure the formation and development of markets for goods and/or services in a free and sound competitive environment. It enforces and observes the implementation of Law on Protection of Competition (“the Competition Law”). It also fulfills the duties/functions assigned by the Competition Law. The Authority’s main duty is to prevent threats/risks to the competitive process in the markets for goods and/or services. Ensuring the fair allocation of resources and increasing social welfare through the protection of the competitive process constitutes the basis of the Authority’s mission.
In order to achieve its mission, the Authority;
- May penalize companies/trade associations which distort or prevent competition in the market, and their executives/employees that play a significant role in the creation of the violation. The examination and investigation processes are heavily regulated,
- May grant exemption to and prepare secondary regulations for agreements that violate competition rules but are beneficial to the economy and consumers,
- Spends efforts to prevent monopolization within the market by reviewing mergers, acquisitions and joint-ventures that exceed specific thresholds,
- Pre-examines the transfer of public companies to the private sector through privatizations,
- Spends efforts to ensure sustainable competitive conditions in the markets by issuing opinions on various regulatory acts which would negatively affect or restrict competition in the markets.
The Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) is the decision-making body of the Authority. The Board consists of seven members. The powers and duties of the Board are as follows:
- Conducting examinations, inquiries and investigations, on request or on its own initiative, concerning practices and legal transactions prohibited by the Competition Law;
- In the case of a competition law violation, taking the necessary measures to terminate the violation and imposing administrative monetary fines on violators,
- Assessing exemption and negative clearance requests, granting exemption and negative clearance to appropriate agreements,
- Constantly monitoring market conditions to assess the continued application of exemption and negative clearance decisions and re-evaluating the decisions that are no longer eligible for application under new market conditions,
- Reviewing/authorizing concentrations (i.e. mergers, acquisitions and certain joint ventures),
- Appointing the Vice-Presidents and the Chief Legal Advisor of the Authority at the proposal of the President,
- Issuing communiqués and preparing necessary regulations related to the implementation of the Competition Law,
- Rendering opinions, directly or on the request of the Ministry, concerning the amendments to be made in the legislation related to the Competition Law,
- Monitoring the legislations, practices, policies and measures of other countries related to competition law enforcement,
- Establishing the personnel policies of the Authority, monitoring the implementation thereof, conducting appointment transactions of the personnel, approving the annual budget, income-expenditure final accounts and annual work programs prepared by the Presidency, taking decisions to make transfers among the accounts in the budget if necessary,
- Preparing annual reports on its activities,
- Discussing and deciding on proposals concerning purchases, sales and leases including the purchase of movable and immovable properties and fixtures; preparing the necessary regulations on the subject,
- Making decisions on all kinds of transactions about debits, rights and credits in relation to third parties,
- Carrying out other duties entrusted by the Competition Law.