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TRY 54.3 million fine! The Board decided on the undertakings active in the market for computer and console games and for consumer electronics.

The Turkish Competition Board completed its two investigations on 11 undertakings active in the market for computer and console games and for consumer electronics, and announced its short for decision today (11.11.2016).

At the end of its investigations, the Board decided that the majority of the undertakings under investigation has violated the Act No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition and applied a fine of TRY 54.3 million in total. The Board only decided not to fine Bimeks due to lack of proof.

As is known, the Board decided to merge two separate investigations on the undertakings active in the market for computer and console games and for consumer electronics, and these investigations were pending for more than a year.

Please find below the fines applied for the undertakings:

Market for Computer and Console Games
Doğan Müzik Kitap Mağazacılık Pazarlama A.Ş. 2,307,544.54
Gold Teknoloji Marketleri San. ve Tic. A.Ş. 1,489,549.58
Kliksa İç ve Dış Ticaret A.Ş. 1,192,116.00
Vatan Bilgisayar San. ve Tic. A.Ş. 10,363,565.71
Aral Oyun Konsol ve Aksesuar Tic. A.Ş. 863,538.50
Teknosa İç ve Dış Ticaret A.Ş. 7,651,563.82
 

Consumer Electronics

Türk Philips Ticaret A.Ş. 1,255,290.42
M.S. İstanbul İç ve Dış Ticaret Ltd.Şti. 5,776,015.29
Teknosa İç ve Dış Ticaret A.Ş. 9,181,876.58
LG Electronics Tic. A.Ş. 6,221,201.00
Vestel Ticaret A.Ş. 8,024,370.30
TOTAL TRY 54,326,631.74

The fines applied the undertakings active in the market for computer and console games are based on the relevant companies’ anticompetitive agreements on the resale prices of the products, and therefore they violated Article 4 of the Act No. 4054 on the Protection of Competition.

As regards the market for consumer electronics market; the Board applied no fine against the companies Vatan and Bimeks due to lack of proof. On the other hand, 3 undertakings (LG Electronics Tic. A.Ş.’nin, MS İstanbul İç ve Dış Tic. Ltd. Şti. And Teknosa İç ve Dış. Tic. A.Ş.) are fined for entering into an anticompetitive agreement to determine resale prices of products. Concerning Vestel Ticaret A.Ş. and Türk Philips Tic. A.Ş.; these 2 undertakings are fined due to their anticompetitive practices to determine resale prices of the undertakings reselling their products. All these undertakings fined violated Article 4 of the Act No 4054.

As is known, the Board determines fines considering relevant undertakings’ turnovers generated in the previous year of the decision taking into account the violation, aggravating and mitigating factors as provided under the Regulation on Fines to Apply. However, there is no clear indication on the proportions of the fines applied in the present case. This detail will be hopefully visible in the reasoned decision, which will be available in the following months.

It is important to emphasize that the hereby investigations were closely followed, since there were rumours that it was the first time the Authority was seriously examining claims on hub and spoke cartels, and its fines could be based on cartel provisions. If the Board is to refer hub and spoke cartel in its reasoned decision, this expectation will be true. However, since the short form decision does not refer to the cartel dispositions of the Regulation on Fines to Apply, it appears unlikely that the Board has based on hub and spoke cartel in its decision.

The Board has also increased the fine applied by half for Aral due to the long duration of its anticompetitive practices. The Board decreased the fine applied for Teknosa due to mitigating factors. As regards the fines applied for the undertakings active in the market for Consumer Electronics, the Board has both taken into account the mitigating and aggravating factors. The Board has also increased the fines applied by half for the undertakings other than Philips due to the long duration of violations.

The details of the decision will be accessible only after the Authority issues the reasoned decision.

Please note that the decision has not finalized yet, since it is still possible to appeal before the administrative courts of Ankara.

Att. İsmail Ünal Doğan

Doğan Law Office

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