The decisions of the Turkish Competition Board (the “Board”) are administrative in nature. They can be subject to appeal. The Board’s interim decisions or non-executable decisions are not subject to appeal. Interim decisions and non-executable decisions are those that do not give effect to a change in the legal status of the defendant or appellant. They simply enable the Authority to go through and advance the procedures to another phase. Examples of non-appealable interim decisions are decisions to launch a preliminary investigation or investigation, request for a written defense, decision to request an incumbent to put in place appropriate remedies, etc.
Pursuant to Article 55 of the Law No.4054 on the Protection of Competition, decisions of the Turkish Competition Board (the “Board”) can be submitted to judicial review before the competent administrative courts in Ankara (“Administrative Court”) within 60 calendar days upon receipt by the parties of the reasoned decision of the Board. Decisions of the Board are considered administrative acts. Therefore, actions for annulment against them are pursued under the general rules of Turkish administrative procedural law. The judicial review comprises both procedural and substantive review.
Filing an administrative action does not automatically stay the execution of the decision of the Board (Article 27 of the Administrative Procedural Law). In other words, an appeal does not cease the implementation of decisions, and the follow-up and collection of fines. However, the court may suspend the execution upon request of the plaintiff (i) if the execution of the decision is likely to result in serious and irreparable damages; and (ii) if the decision is highly likely to be contrary to applicable laws.
The judicial review period before the Administrative Court usually takes about 24 to 30 months. If the challenged decision is annulled in full or in part, the Administrative Court remands it to the Board for review and reconsideration. In addition, decisions of the Administrative Court are appealable before the Ankara Regional Administrative Court and Regional Administrative Court’s decisions are appealable before the High State Court.