Cappadocia, a touristic spot in Central Anatolia with its renowned natural formations called fairy chimneys, is an attraction point for adventurers who seek to get a different vantage point from a hot air balloon of the spectacular landscape, fairy chimneys, valleys and vineyards.
Despite the natural beauties offered in Cappadocia, tourists that want to take hot air balloon tours have always been complaining about the prices of different operators being the same. Although there are at least 40 tour operators, the prices tend to move parallel throughout the season.
In late 2018, the Turkish Competition Authority (the "TCA") took the lead on to investigate the potential anti-competitive conduct of the hot air balloon tour operators in Cappadocia. The TCA investigates the allegations that the undertaking which also has various hotels under its management and leased all hot air balloon flights from the tour operators refuses to provide services to the customers of other hotels and agencies. The investigation was launched in November 2018 to 30 tour operators.
After five months into the investigation, the TCA announced that it had expanded the scope of the investigated undertakings by adding 10 more operators to the investigation. It remains to be seen whether the investigation will result in a finding of infringement which might lead to a more competitive market for hot air balloon tour in Cappadocia.
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