Article 4 of the Competition Law expressly prohibits horizontal agreements which have as their object, have or may the effect of, directly or indirectly sharing of the markets in goods or services, or allocation or control of any sources of supply or other elements within the markets. Market sharing may take the form of (i) allocating customers by geographic area dividing contracts; and (ii) agreeing not to compete for established customers or produce each other’s products or services or expand into a competitor’s market.
Market sharing restricts competition, increases prices in the market and reduces choice on price and quality for consumers and other businesses. Accordingly, partitioning markets for goods or services, and sharing or controlling all kinds of market resources or elements are considered per se illegal pursuant to Article 4 of the Competition Law. In other words, such agreements are considered to be inherently anti-competitive. As market sharing agreements fall within the scope of the per se illegal category, there is no exemption for such restrictive agreements within the scope of Turkish competition law.
Pursuant to the Guidelines on Vertical Restraints, market sharing might be increased when it is combined with exclusive distribution or exclusive customer allocation in a vertical relationship. Accordingly, market sharing is considered one of the main possible competition risks in exclusive distribution and exclusive customer allocation systems.