Draft Settlement Regulation Has Been Introduced For Public Review

As per Article 43 of the Law on Protection of Competition numbered 4054 (“Law”), Turkish Competition Authority (“Authority”) has introduced a draft regulation namely “Settlement Regulation on Anti-competitive Agreements, Concerted Practices and Decisions, and Abuse of Dominance” (“Draft Regulation”) for public review. Main principles envisaged under the Draft Regulation are briefly as follows:

  • Settlement process may be initiated by the parties to the investigation or by the Competition Board (“Board”) following the full-fledged investigation.

  • The Board, until the delivery date of the investigation report, may settle with the parties to the investigation which accept the existence and content of the violation.

  • Settlement mechanism will be applicable for any violation, including express and hardcore violations, which fall under Article 4 and 6 of the Law.

  • Proceeding with the settlement discussion will not be regarded as an acceptance of the violation allegations by the parties, thus the parties are entitled to withdraw from the settlement process until the submission of the settlement letter.

  • Following the settlement discussions, the Board will issue its interim decision with respect to the settlement process. Parties, affirming the content of the interim decision, will be under the obligation to submit their settlement letter within the time requested by the Board.

  • Following the receipt of the settlement letter by the Authority, the Board, within 15 days, will issue its final decision comprising the determination of the violation along with the administrative penalty, and the investigation will be terminated by the Board with respect to the relevant party.

  • Parties will be bound by the confidentiality obligation with regards to the content of the settlement discussions including information and documents that they receive during the discussions until the final decision is issued against other parties to the investigation. Should the parties breach the confidentiality obligation, the Board may launch another investigation against such breaching parties.

  • The Board, following the settlement, will reduce the amount of the administrative penalty by up to 25%.

  • Administrative penalty and the issues set under the settlement letter cannot be challenged by the parties subject to the settlement before courts, once the settlement process is finalized.

  • Should the parties fail to present the settlement letter within the requested time or the Board resolve to end the settlement process or the parties withdraw from the settlement process, the Board will proceed with the usual investigation procedure with respect to such party.

  • Draft Regulation, following its effective date, will also be applicable to ongoing investigations initiated before such date where the investigation report is not served.

Any remarks, suggestions or evaluation with respect to the Draft Regulation may be presented to the Authority until 19.04.2021.

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