Competition Advocacy Application Guide
Application Guide
 
Who Can and How to Apply to the Competition Authority ?
Applications to the Competition Authority may be grouped under two headings:
a. Complaints
All individuals and organizations may file their complaint or information applications with the Competition Authority with regard to practices which they believe involve infringements of competition. Applications to the Authority may be filed by natural persons as well as by institutions, organizations, associations and similar legal persons.

In order for the application to be processed within a short period, it would be helpful that information as detailed as possible and any documents concerning the subject of complaint be submitted to the Authority and formal requirements included in the Communiqué no 2012/2 on the Application Procedure for Infringements of Competition be taken into consideration.

Communiqué on the Application Procedure for Infringements of Competition

More detailed information concerning the formal requirements that must be included in complaint applications may be found at the following link:

Formal Requirements That Must Be Included in Complaint Applications


b. Applications for Negative Clearance/Exemption and Mergers/Acquisitions

Negative Clearance/Exemption applications may be filed by any one of the parties to the agreement. Such applications are required to be filed by filling out the notification form in the Guidelines on the Voluntary Notification of Agreements, Concerted Practices and Decisions of Associations of Undertakings, issued by the Competition Board.

---> Guidelines on the Voluntary Notification of Agreements, Concerted Practices and Decisions of Associations of Undertakings

Similarly, applications for Merger/Acquisition transactions may be filed by any one of the parties to the transaction. Such applications are filed by filling out the notification form in the Communiqué Concerning the Mergers and Acquisitions Calling for the Authorization of the Competition Board, No:2010/4 issued by the Competition Board, and by attaching the necessary documents.

---> Communiqué Concerning the Mergers and Acquisitions Calling for the Authorization of the Competition Board

All information requested in the notification forms for Negative Clearance/Exemption and Merger/Acquisition applications must be provided fully and accurately. Later changes to this information also need to be notified to the Authority.

In case agreements or mergers/acquisitions subject to notification are not notified, or misleading or false information is provided in applications, the Board is entitled to impose administrative fines.

No cost under the name of charge or under any other name is incurred during any complaints or applications filed with the Competition Authority.
Topics outside the scope of the Act
Unfair competition: The concept of "unfair competition" as contained in the Turkish Commercial Code refers to competition by undertakings in violation of bona fide rules. Within this framework, cases where undertakings provide deceptive information to the public concerning their own activities or their competitors’ activities through various means; where they strive to compete with their competitors by defaming them in violation of bona fide rules; where they resort to such means as imitating their competitors’ brands or products or using their competitors’ names or titles are considered as instances of unfair competition. The primary purpose intended by the prohibition of unfair competition is to protect undertakings which are subject to unfair competition in violation of ethical principles, and recourse is sought through criminal justice.

Protection of the consumer: Practices by undertakings which threaten consumers' health and safety and harm their economic interests are considered within the scope of the Act on the Protection of the Consumer. Within this framework, sales of defective product or service, avoidance from selling the product displayed, including clauses against the consumer in the sales contract without negotiation, insufficiency of after-sales services and similar practices may be brought before criminal justice under the aforementioned Act.

Individuals who suffer from damages due to said actions may also apply and submit a complaint to the Directorate General for Consumer Protection and market Surveillance - the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Complaints and information
Any person or organization may make a complaint under Articles 4 and 6 of the Act No. 4054 in relation to the practices which they consider to be infringements of competition. The complaints may be in the form of a petition, or may be submitted via fax or website of the Competition Authority.

The identity of the complainant may be kept confidential upon request. It is helpful if information (as detailed as possible) and documents (if any), in relation to the subject of the complaint are submitted to the Authority for the application to be put to examination shortly.
Leniency and cooperation
Within the framework of the relevant articles of the Act no 4054, the Competition Board may impose severe fines on the parties to cartels and other anti-competitive practices which cause significant harm to the society. However, undertakings parties to the agreement or their employees may be granted exemption from or reduction in the fines to be imposed in case they actively cooperate with the Authority to uncover the violation.

For instance, in accordance with the Competition Board decision dated 03.05.2012 and numbered 12-24/711-199, one of the undertakings under investigation applied to benefit from the Regulation on Active Cooperation for Detecting Cartels and fulfilled the necessary obligations; as a result, the undertaking was imposed a fine of 545.735 TL instead of 818.603 TL, with a 1/3 reduction in the fines imposed. Under the scope of the same decision, a 50% reduction was applied to the fine imposed on the CEO of the undertaking.

Information on the leniency method which is regulated under article 16 of the Act no 4054 may be accessed at the Leniency Applications page of the website.

Leniency Applications
Regulations by Public Agencies
Competition Law generally enacts regulations related to competition restricting practices of the undertakings operating in the market. In this context, all undertakings which carry out economic activities are considered under the scope of the Competition Act, irrespective of whether they are publicly or privately controlled. Moreover, not only activities of undertakings, but also regulations and practices of public agencies with an interventionist nature may create competition restricting effects.

Competition Authority takes measures against such regulations and practices within the framework of its competition advocacy work. Article 27, subparagraph (g) of the Act No. 4054 lists "To opine, directly or upon the request of the Ministry, concerning the amendments to be made to the legislation concerning competition law" among the duties of the Competition Board. In this scope, Competition Board gives opinion about draft laws related to subjects under its purview in order to prevent such regulations from becoming laws. According to the Circular No. 2007/6 issued by the Prime Ministry, acts and decrees prepared after 17.2.2007 and other regulatory acts as determined by the Prime Ministry should be subject to Regulatory Impact Analysis. In this framework, the effects of the regulations being prepared are subjected to multi-perspective assessments and the approach of the Competition Authority is taken into consideration in terms of regulations related to markets and undertakings within the scope of this analysis. Moreover, with the Circular dated 20.8.1998 and no. 14821 and the Circular dated 31.10.2001 and no. 17790 issued by the General Directorate of Personnel and Principles of the Prime Ministry to all of the public agencies and institutions, it is stated that the opinion of the Competition Authority must be taken into account concerning draft regulations whose subjects fall under the purview of the Competition Board. In this context, public institutions may refer to the "Competition Assessment Toolkit" prepared by OECD in order to asses the effects of the legislation to be prepared on competition.

Competition Assessment Toolkit:
Volume 1 and  Volume 2

In addition, Competition Authority sends opinions to relevant agencies and institutions concerning legislation that is currently in force and has anti-competitive effects as well as administrative practices with similar effects, so that these institutions and agencies become aware of competition restricting aspects of their activities and take measures accordingly.
Applications for the Authorization of Mergers, Acquisitions and Joint Ventures
Applications related to the authorization of the merger, acquisition and joint venture transactions which exceed the thresholds established with the Communiqué no 2010/4 concerning the Mergers and Acquisitions Calling for the Authorization of the Competition Board and which, consequently, require authorization by the Competition Board may be filed jointly or by any one of the parties or their authorized representatives. The party filing the application must notify the other party concerning the situation.

The application is filed by filling out the notification form in the Communiqué Concerning the Mergers and Acquisitions Calling for the Authorization of the Competition Board, No:2010/4 issued by the Competition Board, and by attaching the necessary documents.

All information requested in the notification forms for Merger/acquisition applications related to the authorization of mergers, acquisitions and joint ventures must be provided fully and accurately. Later changes to this information also need to be notified to the Authority. In case agreements or mergers/acquisitions subject to notification are not notified, or misleading or false information is provided in applications, the Board is entitled to impose administrative fines.

No cost under the name of charge or under any other name is incurred during any complaints or applications filed with the Competition Authority.

Communiqué no 2010/4 Concerning the Mergers and Acquisitions Calling for the Authorization of the Competition Board
Exemption, Negative Clearance Applications
In principle, undertakings must perform the assessments to determine whether agreements, actions and practices in the market have a competition-restricting aspect and whether agreements, actions or practices with sucha a nature meet all four criteria listed in article 5 of the Act no 4054.

On the other hand, undertakings also have the opportunity to apply to the competition Authority voluntarily to get an exemption decision and/or a certificate of negative clearance in accordance with articles 5 and 8 of the Act no 4054, respectively.

In terms of agreements between undertakings, before submitting such applications block exemption communiqués issued by the Competition Board should be examined to see whether the relationship constituting the subject matter of the application benefits from an exemption under a communiqué. Within this framework, it should be noted that agreements and practices which fulfill the criteria specified in the following communiqués directly benefit from an exemption.
Applications for negative clearance and exemption are made within the framework of the provisions of the "Guidelines on the Voluntary Notification of Agreements, Concerted Practices and Decisions of Associations of Undertakings," by filling out the form attached to the guidelines. All information requested in the notification forms for negative clearance and exemption applications must be provided fully and accurately. Later changes to this information also need to be notified to the Authority. In case misleading or false information is provided in applications, the Board is entitled to impose administrative fines.

No cost under the name of charge or under any other name is incurred during any complaints or applications filed with the Competition Authority.
Seminars / Training Requests / Internship
For training, seminar and internship applications in relation to the Act no 4054, you can follow the website of the Authority or contact the Training Coordinator's Office by phone.

Phone: (312) 291 41 53