Recently, in Turkey, competition law enthusiasts could easily observe the increasing trend in the number of the investigations conducted by and the amount of administrative fines given by the Turkish Competition Authority. One may argue that it is indeed a perceptual selectivity as we hear the skyrocketing administrative fines so often. However, once the numbers are put under the scope, they prove that perceptual selectivity is not the case at all. Indeed, Turkish Competition Authority is far more active when compared to the previous years. As both the cause and the result of this, it could be said that the burden of the competition law enforcers under the roof of TCA is increasing as well.

When we analyze the number of investigations that TCA concluded in the last years, we see that it concluded 20 investigations in 2016, 16 investigations in 2017, 15 investigations in 2019, 26 investigations in 2020. The arithmetic average of the investigations concluded in these five years is 20. When it comes to 2021, only in the first quarter, we see that TCA concluded 19 investigations, so the TCA reached the last five years' average merely in the first quarter of 2021. Considering an investigation takes about 12-18 months, we could argue that the number of the investigations that were given start in 2020, has increased enormously.

Here are the yearly sum of the administrative fines imposed by the TCA1 in Turkish Liras and in Euros2:


Administrative Fines (TRY)

Administrative Fines



196 136 765.62

19 613 676.56


206 528 524.29

20 652 852.43


350 156 560.90

35 015 656.10


282 015 491.72

28 201 549.17


2 242 854 974.19

224 285 497.41

When the nominal values of the administrative fines are taken into account without considering the inflation ratios, in 2017, the administrative fines increased by 5% compared to the fines in 2016. In 2018, the increase jumped to 70%, again compared to the previous year. 2019 has been an exemtion with 20% decrease in total administrative fines. But in 2020, administrative fines georgeously returned to the stage with an increase of 695%, meaning that the fines were almost multiplied by the integer 8. Putting it with the numbers, in 2019, the sum of the administrative fines were about TRY 280 million (appx. EUR 28 million), while in 2020, the sum reached to TRY 2.24 billion (appx. EUR 224 million).

When it comes to the year 2021, only in the first quarter, the sum of the administrative fines is TRY 1.4 billion (appx. EUR 140 million). If the administrative fines were assumed to be homogeneously distributed throughout the year, we would expect a sum about TRY 5.6 billion (appx. EUR 560 million) in 2021. In any case, the increase in the administrative fines is a good proxy showing that the TCA will refresh its record of 2020 in 2021.

Here are the administrative fines imposed on the undertakings in each investigation in the first quarter of 20213:

Investigation Name

Administrative Fines (TRY)

Administrative Fines (EUR)


480 217 217.26

48 021 721.73


296 084 899.49

29 608 489.95


278 437 269.13

27 843 726.91

Medium Density Fiber Board and Particle Board Producers

271 061 660.49

27 106 166.05

Group SEB

27 608 795.57

2 760 879.56

Wheat Producers

24 945 973.57

2 494 597.36

DYO (a paint producer)

21 036 866.58

2 103 686.66

Izmir Container Companies

6 131 584.38

613 158.44

Cappadocia Balloon Operators

3 163 533.69

316 353.37

Turkish Pharmacists' Association

192 718.47

19 271.85 and Anka

157 897.84

15 789.78

Istanbul Taximeter Operators

46 808.18

4 680.82

Pamukkale Balloon Operators

44 777.61

4 477.76


1 409 130 002.26

140 913 000.23

As it could be seen from the table above, 74.8% of the administrative fines imposed on undertakings for the violation of competition law are solely targeted four undertakings. Unilever, Google, Roche and Novartis giant international companies with high revenues, which makes high administrative fines sound normal.

But again, if we consider the administrative fines imposed on only one of the companies above throughout the recent years, again we see the acceleration of the increase in the fines. The first investigation into Google, which is Google Android Decision, ended in 2018 with a fine of TRY 93 million (appx. EUR 9.3 million). The second one, Google Shopping Decision, ended in February 2020 with a fine of TRY 98 million (appx. EUR 9.8 million). Third one, Google Adwords Decision, ended in November 2020 with a fine of TRY 196 million (appx. EUR 19.6 million). Finally, the last one, Google Local Unit, ended in April 2021 with a record fine of TRY 296 million (appx. EUR 29.6). The rocketing increase in the fine might be due to the aggravating effect of recidivism, in other words the repetition of the infringements of the provisions prohibiting the abuse of dominance in Competition Law by the same undertaking. Still, considering the general trend in the administrative fines, Google cases are no surprise! We will be following the upcoming cases closely in the remaining months of 2021, for further analysis.


1. Turkish Competition Authority Decision Statistics, , available only in Turkish, date of access: 17.05.2021.

2. 1 Euro is approximately equal to 10 TLs.

3. The administrative fines stated in the press releases of the TCA are analysed and the sum of the administrative fines given to each undertaking is calculated for each investigation, , available only in Turkish, date of access: 03.06.2021.

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