A trade secret is the information that derives independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to or readily ascertainable through appropriate means by other persons who might obtain economic value from its disclosure or use. Examples include formulas, patterns, compilations, programs, devices, methods, techniques, and processes. It is the subject of reasonable efforts to maintain its confidentiality. Within this framework, the Turkish Competition Authority adopts a precise attitude towards the expression of information which might be commercially sensitive.
The Competition Authority is statutorily required to treat all sensitive information and documents provided to it as confidential (Article 25/4 of Law No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition). It is also the Competition Authority's usual practice to respect the confidentiality of trade secrets and other sensitive information. The Merger Control Communiqué No. 2010/4 comprises mechanism whereby the Turkish Competition Authority announces the transactions notified to it on its official website. Therefore, once notified to the Competition Authority, the existence of a concentration will no longer be a confidential matter. But the contents of the transaction documents will remain confidential, as the announcements cover only the names of the undertakings concerned and their areas of commercial activity.
While the Law requires the Turkish Competition Board's reasoned decisions to be published on the Competition Authority's website, it is the Competition Authority's usual practice to respect confidentiality matters, and the decisions are published after all this information is deleted (Communiqué No. 2010/3 on the Regulation of the Right of Access to the File and Protection of Trade Secrets). The Competition Authority may not take into account confidentiality requests related to information and documents that are indispensable to be used as evidence for proving the investigated/alleged infringement. In such cases, the Competition Authority can disclose such information and documents, respecting the balance between public interest and private interest and in accordance with the proportionality criterion.