TURKISH COMPETITION AUTHORITY’S FINAL REPORT ON THE E-MARKETPLACE PLATFORM SECTOR INQUIRY
Updated: Jun 8, 2022
The Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) has started a sector inquiry on 11 June 2020, regarding the online shopping trend increasing as a result of technological developments and digitalization and determine and find solution to the competition problems that have arisen or may arise in the e-commerce sector.
The Authority published a Preliminary Report about this sector inquiry on 7 May 2021 (” Preliminary Report"). The Preliminary Report determined the development of e-commerce and e-commerce marketplaces and competitive problems related to them, and also included policy recommendations.
Along with the clarification of the findings in the Preliminary Report, the Authority published the Final Report of the sector inquiry on 14 April 2022 ("Final Report”).
With the Final Report, competition problems and policy recommendations - occurred as a result of public opinions and developments in the market since the publishing of the Preliminary Report - are concluded.
Authority examines the e-commerce marketplaces, their main economic characteristics, and the important players of the e-marketplaces. In addition to that, the Final Report also includes competition problems arising from e-marketplaces and related policy recommendations.
Final Report also reveals the accuracy of the determinations made in the Preliminary Report and the realization of the predictions as a result of these determinations. In this context, competition problems contained in the Preliminary Report are detailed in the Final Report.
B. COMPETITION PROBLEMS
Competition problems are evaluated under three main headings, in parallel with the Preliminary Report. These are:
I. Cross-Platform Competition: Examined under the headings of Most-Favored-Customer clause (“MFN”), exclusivity, and applications that limit multiple access.
II. Intra-Platform Competition: Examined under the headings of discrimination among sellers and unfair commercial practices.
III. Consumer Protection: Examined under the headings of price-based concerns, consumer dependence, and data-based concerns.
The report also includes policy recommendations related to the competition problems mentioned above.
C. POLICY RECOMMENDATIONS
The Final Report is in parallel with the Preliminary Report in terms of policy recommendations.
Within this scope, based on the recommendation in the Preliminary Report regarding;
“Strengthening the secondary legislation to eliminate uncertainties regarding the implementation of existing competition law rules”, the Authority has the opinion that reviewing and strengthening the relevant secondary legislation is appropriate for multiple reasons, such as determining the relationship between marketplaces and the seller.
"Implementation of the Code of Conduct of the Platform", the Authority evaluates that it is appropriate for the Ministries to implement this practice, due to need for implementation in a way that includes e-marketplaces that are not in a dominant position, based on the threshold of “being in a dominant position” regulated in the Law on the Protection of Competition w. No. 4054.
“Ex-ante regulation targeting gatekeepers”, the Authority evaluates this recommendation is accurate since this will increase the competitiveness and protect the existing competition in marketplaces.
As a result of the Final Report, we are expecting that the Authority will take action to solve the competition problems, and concerns on competition and apply the implementations of the relevant policy recommendations which are mentioned in the Final Report.
Click here to access the full text of the Final Report:
Authors: Hatice Ekici Tağa, Öykü Su Sabancı