March 2021 - The Turkish Competition Authority (the "Authority") has announced on its official website that the Competition Board (the "Board") has initiated a sector inquiry into the online advertising sector in order to closely monitor both current national and international developments regarding online advertising. The goal of the inquiry is to identify behavioural and/or structural competition-related issues in the sector and to develop solutions to the relevant issues.
As the announcement explains: "The online advertising industry has a complex supply chain that contains many services and active players; it shows a double-sided market structure and it consists of a wide variety of ad types and downstream markets."
With this inquiry the Board is not only demonstrating that it continues to closely monitor domestic online markets, it also underlines that it is keeping up to date with developments facing competition authorities worldwide. Indeed, the announcement states that, "the complex structure and rapid development of the online advertising market has attracted the attention of competition authorities all over the world and the sector has been the subject of many examinations and inquiries."
The Board also emphasised the fact that the broadcasting sector has transferred from traditional channels to digital media with the increase in e-commerce activities and that online advertising has gained great momentum as a result. With its significant internet and social media utilisation habits, Turkey has become an important market for online advertising. The launch of the sector inquiry can therefore also be seen as demonstrating the Board's intention to establish effective competition and to overcome the anti-competitive concerns that arise due to the market power of a small number of undertakings that hold a large segment of data and product portfolios.
Accordingly, the Board has indicated that it plans to organise multiple workshops with players active on the market, if meetings with sector decision-makers, undertakings and associations of undertakings would be deemed necessary during the sector inquiry process.
Players active in the sector are also invited to provide their opinions concerning the sector directly to the Board until 21 June 2021 via the e-mail address provided on its official website.
The full Turkish version of the announcement is available at: https://www.rekabet.gov.tr/tr/Guncel/rekabet-kurulu-cevrim-ici-reklamcilik-se-aa233ec4677eeb11812c00505694b4c6
The Board's sector inquiry is expected to shed light on many questions yet to be answered regarding the online advertising sector in Turkey. We will continue to post updates concerning the inquiry.
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