Unfair competition has been set forth between Articles 54 and 63 in Turkish Commercial Code ("TCC") numbered 6102. In Article 54 of TCC, the purpose of the provisions of unfair competition was defined as "to establish a fair and uncorrupted competition in favor of all participants". In the second paragraph of the same article, it is mentioned that the misleading acts and commercial practices to affect the relations between competitors or between providers and customers or contrary to good faith are unfair and illegal. The scope of the unfair competition was explained under this article.
Article 55 of TCC includes six major unfair competition cases. According to this article, the major unfair competition cases are;
- Advertisement and selling methods contrary to good faith
- To direct someone to breach or terminate an agreement
- To benefit from the work product of another in an unauthorized way
- To disclose production and business secrets illegally
- To disregard the working requirements
- To use transaction conditions contrary to good faith
I - Legal Procedure:
The person whose customer portfolio, credit, professional reputation, commercial activities or any other economic activities have been damaged may file the suits determined in the TCC and listed below:
- Declaratory Lawsuit:
This lawsuit is just for the determination of the existence of unfair competition.
- Unfair Competition Prevention Lawsuit:
The purpose of this lawsuit is to terminate the ongoing act of unfair competition.
- Lawsuit of Elimination of the Current Situation:
This lawsuit has purpose of restitution and the extermination of the current situation. With this lawsuit it is aimed to eliminate the effects of unfair competition and to correct the wrong and misleading statements.
- Compensation Lawsuit for Damage and Loss:
Through this lawsuit, the person who has been damaged financially may compensate and indemnify loss if there is fault. To compensate the damage; the loss of the claimant, the fault and the relation of causality between fault and damage must be proved.
- Indemnification Lawsuit for Non-Pecuniary Damages
If the conditions mentioned in Article 58 of Turkish Code of Obligations are existed, the non-pecuniary damages may be indemnified. In the article mentioned above, the person whose personal rights have been damaged may indemnify non-pecuniary damages. In conclusion of this lawsuit, the judge decides the payment of compensation or the condemnation of the act and the announcement of this decision via press.
II - Penal Responsibility According to Unfair Competition:
According to Article 62 of TCC; the person intentionally committing one of the unfair competition acts mentioned in Article 55, the person who intentionally misinforms about their commercial activities and business shall be penalized with prison sentence up to two years of judicial fine upon the complaint of the persons who are entitled to bring a civil action in accordance with Article 56.
III - Publication of Judgment:
According to Article 60 of TCC; on application by the prevailing party the court may order the publication of the judgment at the expense of the losing party. In practice, it is published in daily newspaper.
IV - Prescription:
The lawsuits mentioned above should be filed in a year after the date at which the party entitled to sue has obtained information and in any case at the end of three years after these rights have originated.
V - Sum:
According to unfair competition provisions in TCC, the main competition cases have been indicated, legal procedure and lawsuits have been determined in order to prevent, declare, restitute the situation and penal liability of unfair competition has been mentioned. With TCC, the concept of unfair competition and its sanctions have been settled in detail. As a result, with these regulations mentioned above the purpose of unfair competition provisions is to provide the right conditions for competition in economy and market and provide pure competition to reach the atomistic economy.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.