After an investigation process of thirteen months, the Board announced on October 14, 2016 the outcome of a high-profile investigation against Turk Philips Tic. A.Ş. ("Philips Turkey") into allegations of abuse of dominance.
The Board weighed the pieces of evidence, the written defenses and the investigation file to find that Philips Turkey did not violate Article 6 of Law No. 4054 and should not be subject to an administrative fine under Article 16 of Law No. 4054.
The nexus of the investigation was on the maintenance and repair of Philips-branded medical devices. The accusations submitted by a complainant emanated from alleged market practices of Philips Turkey which the complainant claimed ranged from price discrimination and applying dissimilar conditions between similarly-situated customers, excessive pricing on products sold to some customers and market foreclosure.
The defendant, Philips Turkey, demonstrated the lack of substantial evidence and utilized economic arguments to fortify its written defenses. While the reasoned decision is yet to be published, the Board's short decision stipulates that market research conducted by the investigation team in fight of the defenses raised by Philips Turkey swayed the opinion of the Board to issue a no-go decision. The Board resolved that Philips Turkey did not violate Article 6 of Law No. 4054.
The decision is a candidate of forming a cornerstone in the abuse of dominance cases in the Turkish competition law jurisprudence as the reviewing process becomes increasingly oriented around economics arguments. The reasoned decision, which is expected to be published in the following months, is likely to provide insight on the abuse of dominance cases and the direction the Turkish competition enforcement will be heading to in the coming years.
This article was first published in Legal Insights Quarterly by ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law in December 2016. A link to the full Legal Insight Quarterly may be found here.
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