The Turkish Competition Board ("Board") announced on its official website the short-form decision on Yemek Sepeti Elektronik İletişim Tanıtım Pazarlama Gıda San. ve Tic. A.Ş. ("Yemek Sepeti", meaning the Food Basket), a Turkish online meal ordering platform, where the Board decided to impose a fine on the relevant company (09.06.2016; 16-20/347-156). Yemek Sepeti is the first ruling in the Board's decisional practice where MFC clauses have been held to violate the provisions of Law No. 4054.
The Board's short-form decision is related to the investigation initiated against Yemek Sepeti on March 18th, 2015 (decision no. 15-12/161-M) to scrutinize as to whether Yemek Sepeti is violating Articles 4 and 6 of the Law No. 4054 by practices attempting to exclude its competitors from the market through de facto exclusivity applications and "most favored customer" or "MFC" clauses contained in the agreements concluded between Yemek Sepeti and the restaurants that are members of Yemek Sepeti's online platform.
During the investigation, Turkish Competition Authority ("Authority") examined whether Yemek Sepeti prevented the restaurants from applying better/ different conditions (such as price, discount, promotion, menu content, payment options, delivery region and limit) on rival platforms, preventing the marketing of rival platforms, offering promotions to restaurants in return for not working with rival platforms and its Joker application (offering major discounts to the customers for a 15 minute period for ordering from certain restaurants) as a result of MFC practices.
As a result of its evaluation, the Board has concluded that Yemek Sepeti holds a dominant position in the online meal order-delivery platform services market. The Board has further decided that preventing restaurants from offering better/different conditions to rival platforms through MFC practices creates exclusionary effects in the relevant market and thus constitute an abuse of dominant position within the scope of Article 6 of Law No. 4054.
Allegations concerning Yemek Sepeti's violation of Law No. 4054 through preventing the marketing of rival platforms, offering promotions to restaurants in return for not working with rival platforms and the Joker application have been rejected by the Board.
As a result, the Board concluded that Yemek Sepeti has violated Article 6 of Law No. 4054 through its MFC practices and thus decided to impose an administrative fine on Yemek Sepeti in the amount of TL 427,977.70 (approximately EUR 130,000). The Board has further decided that Yemek Sepeti shall (i) end any kind of MFC practices that prevent competing platforms to offer better/different conditions, (ii) revise the agreements concluded between Yemek Sepeti and the restaurants by clearly providing that restaurants may offer better/different conditions to other online meal ordering-services platforms and that they are not obliged to reflect these conditions to Yemek Sepeti; and (iii) submit the revised agreements to the Authority within 120 days following the notification of the reasoned decision.
This article was first published in Legal Insights Quarterly by ELIG, Attorneys-at-Law in September 2016. A link to the full Legal Insight Quarterly may be found here.
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