i Domestic outlook
According to Article 20 of the Law on the Protection of Competition, '[the] Competition Authority, [being] a public entity and [having] administrative and commercial autonomy, has been established to supervise the application of this law and to perform the duties attributed to it by law'. Under this provision, the Competition Authority possesses broad powers and has what might be described as a semi-administrative, semi-judicial structure. It has its own budget made up from funds allocated by the Ministry of Industry and Trade; payments in an amount equivalent to 4 per cent of the capital of all newly incorporated partnerships and limited companies, and that of the remaining amount from any capital increase in existing entities; and publications and similar revenue. The main functions of enforcing competition law are carried out by the Competition Board, one of three separate divisions of the Authority.
The main goal of the Competition Act is the prohibition of cartels and other restrictions on competition, prevention of abuse of dominant position by a firm that has dominance in a certain market and prevention of the creation of new monopolies by monitoring certain merger and acquisition transactions. The goal of the Competition Authority, which is charged with enforcing the aforementioned Act, is to facilitate and protect competition in markets.
Apart from related articles of the Turkish Constitution, the Competition Act2 is the basic law of competition and the main tool with which competition is regulated. The Competition Board also has the authority to issue regulations related to the subjects in the Competition Act (Article 62), which are prepared by the Board and put into force via a resolution of the Council of Ministers.
Another duty of the Competition Board is to issue communiqués and make the necessary regulations as to the implementation of the Competition Act. Further, any decisions by the Competition Authority constitute precedent, and so are important in practice.
In accordance with Article 55 of the Act, Ankara Administrative Court is authorised to examine cases against the decisions of the Competition Authority as a first instance court and the Council of State is authorised for appeals.
The Competition Authority issued Communiqué No. 2012/2, which introduced a standard form and content requirements for applications. The Communiqué seeks to pave the way for more proactive enforcement by enabling the Competition Authority to conduct examinations with respect to applications that are serious and complete, avoid wasting resources on applications that are insufficient in terms of form and content, and shift resources to those areas given priority by the Authority.
In accordance with the annual report on competition policy developments in Turkey in 2018, the Competition Board made final decisions on 378 cases, 88 of which concerned competition infringements, 44 concerned negative clearances or exemptions, 210 concerned mergers and acquisitions and specialisation, and 13 concerned other issues.
ii International outlook
The increasingly international nature of Turkey's competition law and policy is a consequence of the process of globalisation, which is requiring domestic competition authorities to cooperate on an international level. The Turkish Competition Authority has achieved participant status in international cooperation through bilateral and multilateral platforms that allow the exchange of information and experience between states, and create opportunities for the implementation of competition rules. In addition to the EU full membership process, the Competition Authority has been participating in studies conducted by multilateral platforms such as the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, the International Competition Network (ICN) and the World Trade Organization. Within the framework of bilateral relationships, the Competition Authority has also signed cooperation protocols with the competition agencies of Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Egypt, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Korea, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Northern Cyprus, Portugal, Romania, Russia and Ukraine.
A memorandum of cooperation, which was prepared with the aim to increase cooperation between the Tunisian authorities and the Turkish Competition Authority, was signed on 21 July 2017.
A memorandum of cooperation in the area of competition policy was signed between the Turkish Competition Authority and the National Institute for the Defense of Competition and the Protection of Intellectual Property of the Republic of Peru on 31 October 2017.
Most recently, a memorandum of cooperation was signed between:
- the Competition Agency of Kosova and the Turkish Competition Authority on 10 April 2018;
- the Competition Agency of Macedonia and the Turkish Competition Authority on 12 April 2018;
- the Competition Agency of Serbia and the Turkish Competition Authority on 20 April 2018; and
- the Competition Agency of Albania and the Turkish Competition Authority on 18 September 2018.
There has been an obvious decrease in the number of cases resolved by the Competition Authority in the past five years. Most of the reduction has occurred in competition infringement cases. There has also been a vital change in the classification of the topics of final decisions; the majority of final decisions moved to cases about mergers and acquisitions from cases about competition infringements.
Free trade agreements (FTAs) are bilateral agreements that countries sign to improve trade by reciprocally removing barriers to trade. In this way, producers in the countries party to an agreement can compete on equal terms, and the parties' international competition power increases.
As of 2015, 17 countries and country groups had signed FTAs with Turkey, and negotiations are in progress with 14 country groups. Moreover, there are initiatives to commence FTA negotiations with 10 country groups.
In accordance with the Competition Act, there is no difference between undertakings and individuals. The Competition Act definition of 'undertakings' is 'natural and legal persons who produce, market and sell goods or services in the market, and units [that] can decide independently and . . . constitute an economic whole'. The Competition Act also defines an association of undertakings as any type of association, with or without legal personality, which is formed by undertakings to accomplish particular goals.
Contravention of the Competition Act can result in administrative (civil) or criminal penalties. Administrative fines may be issued to undertakings, associations of undertakings or affiliates of these associations infringing the Competition Act. The nature and application of fines, the acts resulting in them and their method of calculation are set out in Section 3 of the Competition Act in Articles 16 and 17.
Criminal sanctions apply to all types of agreement and concerted practice between undertakings set out in Article 4 of the Competition Act, and those that abuse a dominant position in any market for certain goods and services or distort competition through any behaviour mentioned in Article 6 will be obliged to indemnify any type of damage to injured parties according to Article 57 of the Competition Act.
'Cartel' is a common concept that refers to anticompetitive agreements or concerted practices among competitors, including price fixing, market allocation, restriction of supply, or imposition of quotas and collusive bidding in tenders. Cartels, which are accepted as the most severe competition restriction, strive to increase their profits by controlling different market-related variables, especially price and quantity.
Due to the severe damage they do to the economy, there is worldwide consensus among competition authorities that cartels should be treated differently to other practices restricting competition and should be punished in the most harsh manner.
In accordance with the Competition Act, those actively cooperating with the Competition Board may have their fines reduced taking into consideration the quality, efficiency and timing of their cooperation. The means of demonstrating the explicit grounds and terms for immunity from or reduction of fines in the case of cooperation, and procedures and principles in relation to cooperation, are determined by the Regulation on Active Cooperation for Detecting Cartels (Leniency Regulation).
Compared with other types of infringement, it is more difficult to detect and investigate cartels, since they are secret by nature unless parties to a cartel cooperate with the Competition Board in accordance with the Leniency Regulation. Therefore, it is helpful if penalties are: not imposed on, or are reduced for, those who actively cooperate with the Competition Authority; assessed independently for each undertaking party to the cartel and their managers; and waived for employees who help detect and investigate cartels.
In addition, those who actively cooperate with the Authority in detecting and investigating cartels should not be left at a disadvantage compared with those who do not cooperate. Therefore, in cases where the Leniency Regulation has no clear provision and requires interpretation, it is essential that the conclusion favours those who cooperate.
Additionally, a conciliation procedure for cartel investigations, similar to a plea bargain in many countries, is currently at bill stage with the Competition Board, and is based on the principle of reduced punishment if an enterprise accepts responsibility for a breach. However, if the leniency programme is applied successfully, such method will not be required.
There are special regulations concerning cartels that have been drawn up based on articles of the Competition Act: the Regulation on Active Cooperation for Detecting Cartels and the Guidelines on the Explanation of the Regulation on Active Cooperation for Detecting Cartels.
The ICN is directed by 'steering groups' composed of 15 selected members, including Turkey and three ex officio appointed member competition agencies. The ICN working groups that currently exist cover mergers, cartels, agency effectiveness, competition advocacy and unilateral conduct. The Turkish Competition Authority was the co-chair of the Competition Policy Implementation Working Group, which is now called the Agency Effectiveness Working Group, and the Unilateral Conduct Working Group, and as of 2017, it is the co-chair of a sub-group of the Cartel Working Group.
III ANTITRUST: RESTRICTIVE AGREEMENTS AND DOMINANCE
Turkish national competition law and all related regulations and applications are equivalent to Articles 101 and 102 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
As previously mentioned, restrictive agreements are regulated in Article 4 of the Competition Act, and are described as 'agreements and concerted practices between undertakings, and decisions and practices of associations of undertakings which have as their object or effect or likely effect the prevention, distortion or restriction of competition directly or indirectly in a particular market for goods or services are illegal and prohibited'. It should be noted that this list is not exhaustive.
Such cases are, in particular, as follows:
- fixing the purchase or sale price of goods or services, elements such as cost and profit that dictate the price, and any terms of purchase or sale;
- partitioning markets for goods or services, and sharing or controlling all kinds of market resources or elements;
- controlling the amount of supply or demand in relation to goods or services, or determining them outside the market;
- complicating and restricting the activities of competing undertakings, or excluding undertakings operating in the market by boycotts or other behaviour, or preventing potential new entrants to the market;
- except for exclusive dealing, applying different terms to persons with equal status for equal rights, obligations and acts; and
- contrary to the nature of the agreement or commercial usage, obliging the purchase of other goods or services together with a good or service, tying a good or service demanded by purchasers acting as intermediary undertakings to the condition of displaying another good or service by the purchaser, or putting forward terms as to the resupply of a good or service.
Where the existence of an agreement cannot be proved, where the price changes in the market or the balance of demand and supply, or the operational areas of undertakings, are similar to those in markets where competition is prevented, distorted or restricted, this constitutes a presumption that the undertakings are engaged in concerted practices.
Each of the parties may relieve itself of the responsibility by proving they have not engaged in a concerted practice, provided that this is based on economic and rational facts.
A dominant position is regulated in Article 6 of the Competition Act, and is defined as 'the abuse, by one or more undertakings, of their dominant position in a market for goods or services within the whole or a part of the country on their own or through agreements with others or through concerted practices, is illegal and prohibited'.
Particular cases of abuse include:
- preventing, directly or indirectly, another undertaking from entering into the area of commercial activity, or actions aimed at complicating the activities of competitors in the market;
- directly or indirectly discriminating by offering different terms to purchasers with equal status for the same and equal rights, obligations and acts;
- purchasing another good or service together with a good or service, or tying a good or service demanded by purchasers acting as intermediary undertakings to the condition of displaying another good or service by the purchaser, or imposing limitations with regard to the terms of purchase and sale in the case of resale, such as not selling a purchased good below a particular price;
- actions that aim to distort competitive conditions in another market for goods or services by means of exploiting financial, technological and commercial advantages created by dominance in a particular market; and
- restricting production, marketing or technical development to the prejudice of consumers.
The violations listed in the Competition Act are the most common types of abuse of a dominant position. It must be emphasised that is not necessary for an enterprise to be at fault while abusing a dominant position. Fault, and its extent, will only be taken into consideration while imposing a sanction.
Becoming dominant or reinforcing the dominant position of an entity through association or acquisition is prohibited by the Competition Act if such a situation limits competition to a large extent. Acquisition means gaining control of another establishment by way of agreement by a person or persons in control of a current establishment. The economic effects of acquisitions and associations are subjected to the same scrutiny, as they have the same effects. The Competition Board has the authority to determine, via its communiqués, the types of mergers and acquisitions that must be notified to the Board and for which permission must be obtained. The Competition Authority can invalidate procedures that cause distortion of competition, and can also decide to separate parties if they are not actually associated.
According to Communiqué No. 2012/3, issued on 3 January 2013, which confirmed amendments to Communiqué No. 2010/4 Concerning the Mergers and Acquisitions Calling for the Authorisation of Competition Authority, in a merger or acquisition transaction as specified under Article 5 of Communiqué No. 2010/4, authorisation of the Competition Board will be required for the relevant transaction to carry legal validity if the total turnover of the transaction parties in Turkey exceeds 100 million Turkish liras, and the turnover of at least two of the transaction parties in Turkey each exceed 30 million Turkish liras. Previously, the authorisation of the Competition Board was also required where an asset or activity subject to acquisition in acquisition transactions, or at least one of the parties to a transaction in merger transactions, had a turnover in Turkey exceeding 30 million Turkish liras, and the other party to the transaction had a global turnover exceeding 500 million Turkish liras. However, this authorisation requirement was abolished by an amendment to Article 5 of Communiqué No. 2010/4 in 2017.
i Significant cases
Examples of decisions on anticompetitive agreements
The above-mentioned enterprises operate in Turkey and import infant formula and follow-on milk. It was alleged that they jointly determined the prices in the market by mutual agreement in breach of Article 4 of the Competition Law. At the on-site investigations carried out at said enterprises no proof could be found to indicate that they were in an anticompetitive collusive relationship, therefore in February 2019 the Turkish Competition Authority found that the concerned undertakings did not breach the Competition Law and determined that there was no need to open a fully fledged investigation into the undertakings.
Michelin Lastikleri Ticaret investigation4
It was claimed that the resale price and conditions were determined by Michelin, sales restrictions were imposed on the dealers, and that dealers working with competitors were excluded from the market. It was concluded that there was no need to open an investigation against Michelin in respect of the alleged complaints.
Examples of decisions on abuse of dominance
Mercedes Benz Turk investigation5
This was an investigation about the rebate (discount) system on truck sales applied by Mercedes Benz Turk AS. The relevant decision concerned the investigation of abuse of dominance in the concrete pump market in the agreements concluded with concrete pump suppliers and the applied rebate system. It was decided that there was no violation of Article 6 of the Competition Act and no administrative fine was applied.
Mey Icki investigation6
There was investigation to determine whether Mey İçki obstructed the operations of competing undertakings by putting pressure on raki points of sale by means of concessions and certain practices, and violated the Competition Act by abusing its dominant position.
It was decided that Mey İçki, which holds a dominant position in the raki market, had violated Article 6 of the Competition Act by engaging in the following practices:
- it provided discounts and other financial advantages to the on- and off-premises points of sale depending on the points of sales' realisation of the raki purchase targets, set at more than 80 per cent of the total raki purchases of the point of sale within a certain period;
- it provided periodic purchase targets for points of sale without purchasing agreements with Mey İçki and provided discounts and other financial advantages depending on whether these targets were achieved; and
- it provided discounts and financial advantages to points of sales in return for having shelf and visibility arrangements in the traditional channel points of sale to the advantage of Mey İçki.
Therefore an administrative fine was imposed on the undertaking under Article 16 of the Competition Act.
Examples of decisions on exemption and negative clearance
Card Storage Service of BKM exemption examination7
The examination to deal with the individual exemption request application of the Bankalararası Kart Merkezi AŞ (Interbank Card Centre – BKM) for the card storage service it provides. The card storage service comprising the subject matter of the notification is a service provided to those undertakings that receive repeated payments to ensure that payment can be made without requiring said undertakings to store the information for the card to be used for payment, by having another organisation (BKM, in this instance) store the relevant information for them. Within the framework of the notified BKM card storage service, member businesses were not put under any restrictive obligation such as non-compete, exclusivity, etc. The business was able to work with any organisation offering a member business agreement. BKM did not intervene in the commercial relationship between the undertakings in question (such as contract negotiations, virtual point of sale usage conditions, commission negotiations, etc.) In this respect, it was evaluated that the notified service fulfilled the requirement of Article 5(d) of the Competition Act, which prohibits placing undue restrictions on competition. As a conclusion, it was decided that despite its restrictive effects on competition, the card data storage service to be provided by BKM had positive aspects due to technical developments and consumers benefits it would cause, and therefore could benefit from individual exemption under Article 5 of the Competition Act. However, since the relevant market was an emerging one, the exemption in question would expire one year after the date of the decision herein.
Booking.com administrative fine8
At the end of this investigation, Booking.com and its Turkey office (Booking.com Destek Hizmetleri Ltd Şti) were found to have violated Articles 4 and 6 of the Competition Act, and the Competition Authority issued an administrative fine amounting to 2,543,922.85 Turkish liras in accordance with the Regulation on Fines to Apply in Cases of Agreements, Concerted Practices and Decisions Limiting Competition, and Abuse of Dominant Position.
IV SECTORAL COMPETITION: MARKET INVESTIGATIONS AND REGULATED INDUSTRIES
In Turkey, there are authorities that have sectoral authority regarding competition, including the Energy Market Regulatory Authority (EMRA), the Information and Communication Technologies Authority, the Capital Markets Board of Turkey, and the Banking Regulation and Supervision Agency. Articles 1, 3 and 5 of the Electricity Market Law, which give authority regarding competition in the electricity market to the EMRA, state that the EMRA has the power and duty to develop a competitive market, maintain a competitive environment and, in the case of undeveloped competition, regulate prices. Similarly, the Electronic Communications Law states that the Information and Communication Technologies Authority has the power and duty to develop a competitive environment and inspect breaches of competition, and maintain a competitive environment while regulating the sector. However, the limits of the authority of the above institutions are unclear. If a conflict of authority were to occur between these institutions and the Competition Authority, determining the competent institution in such a scenario would be problematic.
V STATE AID
In accordance with the obligations implemented by the bilateral agreements between Turkey and the EU, a state aid law had to be adopted to set out general conditions and rules for authorisation to monitor the implementation and recovery of state aid. Therefore, Law No. 6015 on Monitoring and Supervision of State Aids prepared by the Undersecretariat of the Treasury was adopted on 13 October 2010 and entered into force on 23 October 2010 (and was published in Official Gazette No. 27738).
Similar to Article 107 TFEU, state aid is defined as 'any aid providing a financial benefit to its beneficiary granted by the state or through state resources in any form whatsoever which distorts or threatens to distort competition by favouring certain undertakings or the production of certain goods, insofar as it affects trade between Turkey and the EU' in Article 2 of Law No. 6015. According to the definition, the aid needs to fulfil five criteria to be classified as state aid:
- state aid needs to provide a financial benefit to its beneficiary or beneficiaries;
- this benefit should be granted by the state through state resources;
- this benefit should be on a selective basis;
- the aid should not distort or threaten to distort competition; and
- e this aid should not affect trade between Turkey and the EU.
Law No. 6015 was required to be enacted by Parliament to bring Turkish law in line with EU requirements. The enactment of Law No. 6015 was postponed to 31 December 2016 by Resolution of the Council of Ministers No. 2015/8325 of 21 December 2015, which was published in Official Gazette No. 29576 on 28 December 2015. The Law was enacted and came into force on 31 December 2016.
VI MERGER REVIEW
Significant changes occurred on the subject of mergers with the implementation of the New Turkish Commercial Code,9 which became effective on 1 July 2012. According to the Code (as was the case with the former Code), there are two types of merger: a merger by way of acquisition in which one party is acquired by the other party; and a merger by way of the formation of a new company in which both parties merge through a newly formed company.
Under the New Turkish Commercial Code there is a new regulation regarding mergers that annuls a former provision prohibiting a merger of companies with different company types. As such, there is no longer any legal obstacle regarding a merger of companies of different types (e.g., a limited liability company and a joint-stock company now have the right to merge). The likely impact of this change will be an increase in the number of mergers taking place.
As mentioned above, to avoid any possible illegal market dominance, as established in the Competition Act and related communiqués, certain types of merger are subject to the approval of the Competition Authority. Authorisation of the Competition Board will be required for the relevant transaction to carry legal validity if the total turnovers of the transaction parties in Turkey exceed 100 million Turkish liras, and the turnovers of at least two of the transaction parties in Turkey each exceed 30 million Turkish liras.
Merger and acquisition transactions that increase prices for customers, decrease variety and undermine innovations are prohibited under Article 7 of Act No. 4054.
Cases that are considered as mergers or acquisitions under Article 7, mergers or acquisitions requiring the authorisation of the Competition Board, and the procedures, principles concerning the notification thereof to the Competition Board are regulated by the Communiqué on the Mergers and Acquisitions Calling for the Authorisation of the Competition Board (Communiqué No. 2010/4).
There is no provision that precisely prescribes a deadline for the notification that shall be made to the Authority regarding a merger of companies that exceeds the above-mentioned thresholds. Additionally, in the absence of a notification, the Authority shall make an inquiry regarding the concerned merger and, if the merger is deemed to be unlawful, the Authority will take measures regarding the merger and initiate an investigation; however, if the merger is deemed lawful, the Authority will charge an administrative fine to both parties for failing to provide notification. As per Communiqué No. 2018/1 on increasing the Minimum Limits of the Administrative Fines Specified in Article 16.1 of Law No. 4054, the minimum amount of administrative fine prescribed for mergers that take place without notification is 21,036 Turkish liras.
The Competition Authority has released a Draft Guideline on the Evaluation of Horizontal Mergers and Acquisitions and a Draft Guideline on the Evaluation of Non-Horizontal Mergers and Acquisitions (together, Draft Guidelines), which intend to establish the general principles to be considered in the assessments made by the Competition Authority concerning horizontal and non-horizontal mergers and acquisitions, for public discussion. As a result, the Turkish competition regulations will have a more specific and measurable base for additional legislation and secondary legislation.
i Significant cases
The following transactions are noteworthy:
- 29 November 2018: request for authorisation for the acquisition of all shares of Cast Future Holdings SpA by Robertshaw SRL;10
- 22 November 2018: request for authorisation for the acquisition of all shares of Apollo Aviation Holdings by TC Group LLC;11
- 19 September 2018: request for authorisation for the acquisition of 80 per cent shares of Arimpeks Aluminyum by Aluflexpack AG;12
- 15 November 2018: request for authorisation for the acquisition by The Global Infra Co JS Arl of Simba Holding SARL's 50 per cent shares in Corning Corporation;13
- 15 November 2018: request for authorisation for the acquisition of all shares of BDP International Inc by Greenbriar Holdings IV LLC;14
- 8 November 2018: request for authorisation for the acquisition of all controls of Unifeeder A/S by the DP World Investments BV;15
- 11 October 2018: request for authorisation for the acquisition of 100 per cent shares of Goat TopCo GmbH by Grupa Azoty SA;16
- 4 October 2018: request for authorisation for the acquisition of all controls of Sanyo Special Steel Co Ltd by the Nippon Steel & Sumitamo Metal Corporation;17 and
- 26 September 2018: request for authorisation for the acquisition of all controls of Bohai Capital Holding Co Ltd by Onix Aviation System Ltd.18
All requests for authorisation for acquisitions were accepted by the Competition Authority.
ii Trends, developments and strategies
In 2018, 223 operations concerning mergers, acquisitions and specialisations were notified to the Authority. Those included 210 mergers and acquisitions, and 13 specialisations. Of the merger and acquisition notifications, 150 were cleared, two were cleared under conditions, one was blocked and 30 did not satisfy the thresholds.
As a result of the public discussion on the Draft Guidelines, the Turkish competition regulations will have a more specific and measurable base for additional legislation and secondary legislation.
In addition, considering the annulment of the prohibition on mergers of two companies of different types, a rise in the number of mergers and acquisitions is likely.
There are provisions in many Turkish laws that enable the resolution of certain types of disputes by means of conciliation. Conciliation is therefore a legal institution familiar in Turkish law, particularly regarding those mechanisms that have been implemented for many years in Turkish tax law and that were formalised in 2005 in the Turkish Criminal Code. In the Competition Act, there is no specific provision that clearly regulates methods of conciliation; only Subparagraph 3 of Article 9 enables conciliation by means of interpretation.
Some important changes have been made to the competition law through amendments made to the Competition Act and issued communiqués.
Through the change of Communiqué No. 2012/2, a standard has been specified for the form and content of applications made to the Competition Authority that will allow it to shift its resources to priority areas.
The Council of State's authority regarding appeals filed against decisions of the Competition Authority has been revoked as a result of the specification of the administrative courts as the courts of first instance to examine such cases. The goal behind such change is to decrease the workload of the Council of State, which actually operates as a supreme court in the area of administrative procedures, and to allow the Council of State to retain its status as a supreme court. It is stated in the preamble of Law No. 6352 that prescribes this change that the workload of the Council of State, and the delay to the resolution of cases that has resulted from this, has violated the European Convention on Human Rights.
Measures to be taken in the forthcoming period are as follows:
- European legislation to comply with Council Regulation (EC) No. 1/2003 of 16 December 2002 on the implementation of the rules on competition laid down in Articles 81 and 82 of the Treaty, and Council Regulation (EC) No. 139/2004 of 20 January 2004 on the control of concentrations between undertakings, increasing the alignment level with the EU law in the antitrust area by introducing substantive and procedural amendments in mergers and also introducing reduced commitment and settlement procedures.
- Framework for state aid for research and development and innovation (2014/C198/01), Commission Regulation (EU) No. 651/2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty. Aligning with the EU acquis on state aid and fulfilling the obligations arising from the Custom Union (Articles 34 and 39 of Decision 1/95 of the EC Turkey Association Council) and Turkey–EU European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) Free Trade Agreement (Article 7).
- Guidelines on State to Promote risk finance investment (2014/C/19/04), Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC of 6 May 2003 concerning the definition of micro, small and medium-sized enterprises. Aligning with the EU acquis on state aid and fulfilling the obligations arising from customs union (Articles 34 and 39 of Decision 1/95 of the EC Turkey Association Council) and the Turkey–EU ECSC Free Trade Agreement (Article 7).
- Aligning with the EU acquis on state aid and fulfilling the obligations arising from the Customs Union (Articles 34 and 39 of Decision 1/95 of the EC Turkey Association Council) and the Turkey–EU ECSC Free Trade Agreement (Article 7).
The following regulations have been introduced during the past five years:
- Summary of New Legal Provisions of Competition and Related Regulations (2013–2014);
- Guidelines on the Assessment of Abusive Conduct by Undertakings with Dominant Position dated 29 February 2014 No. 14-05/97-RM;
- Block Exemption Communiqué on Specialisation Agreements (Communiqué No. 2013/3);
- Communiqué on the Procedures and Principles to be Pursued in Pre-Notifications and Authorisation Applications to be Filed with the Competition Authority in order for Acquisitions via Privatisation to Become Legally Valid (Communiqué No. 2013/2);
- Guidelines on the General Principles of Exemption dated 28 November 2013 No. 13-66/923-RM(10);
- Guidelines on Cases Considered as a Merger or an Acquisition and the Concept of Control dated 16 July 2013 No. 13-35/RM(9);
- Guidelines on the Assessment of Non-Horizontal Mergers and Acquisitions dated 4 June 2013 No. 13-33/449-RM(8);
- Guidelines on the Assessment of Horizontal Mergers and Acquisitions dated 4 June 2013 No. 13-33/448-RM(7);
- Guidelines on the Explanation of the Regulation on Active Cooperation for Detecting Cartels dated 17 April 2013 No. 13-23/325-RM(2);
- Guidelines on Horizontal Cooperation Agreements dated 30 April 2013 No. 13-24/326-RM(6);
- Communiqué Concerning the Increase of the Minimum Administrative Fines Specified in Paragraph 1 of Article 16 of Act No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition, valid until 31 December 2016 (Communiqué No. 2016/1);
- Block Exemption Communiqué on Research and Development Agreements (Communiqué No. 2016/5);
m Communiqué No. 2017/2 Amending the Communiqué on Mergers and Acquisitions Calling for the Authorisation of the Competition Board (Communiqué No. 2010/4) Being Published;
- Block Exemption Communiqué on Vertical Agreements in the Motor Vehicles Sector (Communiqué No. 2017/3);
- Communiqué on the increase of the Lower Threshold for Administrative Fines Specified in Paragraph 1, Article 16 of Act No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition to be valid until 31 December 2018 (Communiqué No. 2018/1);
- Guideline on Vertical Agreements dated 29 March 2018 No. 18-09/179-RM(1);
- Guideline on Enterprise, Turnover and Subsidiary Restrictions related to Mergers and Acquisitions dated 5 April 2018 No. 18-10/195-RM(2); and
- Guideline on Statuses situated as Mergers and Acquisitions and Concept of Control dated 5 April 2018 No. 18-10/195-RM(2).
1 Serbülent Baykan is the founding partner at BaykanIdea Law Offices.
3 Decision No. 18-4/643-313 of 25 October 2018.
4 Decision No. 18-39/624-303 of 17 October 2018.
5 Decision No. 18-29/489-239 of 27 August 2018.
6 Decision No. 17-07/84-34 of 16 February 2017.
7 Decision No. 17-11/134-61 of 23 March 2017.
8 Decision No. 17-01/12-4 of 5 January 2017.
9 The New Turkish Commercial Code (No. 6102).
10 Decision No. 18-45/704-346.
11 Decision No. 18-44/697-341.
12 Decision No. 18-33/551-272.
13 Decision No. 18-43/681-334.
14 Decision No. 18-43/680-333.
15 Decision No. 18-42/666-327.
16 Decision No. 18-38/607-296.
17 Decision No. 18-37/596-291.
18 Decision No. 18-34/567-280.