Mehmet KAYA-ANKARA An important step is being taken towards e-commerce and e-marketplace enterprises, which have been uncertain about how to evaluate them in the trade system due to their new technological structures for a long time. With the amendment to the Competition Law, “basic platform services” will be added to include e-commerce platforms next to the expression “enterprise”, and companies that do business of this type will be included in the competition law. In addition, with the amendment to be made in the Competition Law, platforms abroad were also included in the system in terms of Turkey being the end user. In the law, the criterion of “those with significant market power” was added as a criterion. In the draft law, the requirement that such undertakings fulfill their obligations defined in the law, regardless of whether they are located in Turkey or not, was also included in the draft law.
They will prevent companies from gaining a competitive advantage
According to the draft amendment to the Law on the Protection of Competition, which WORLD has obtained, an article is added to allow e-commerce platforms to be followed within the Competition Law. The regulation made by the Commercial Code in the Grand National Assembly of Turkey was brought to the Constitutional Court by the main opposition party CHP. With the new regulation, the phrase “Prohibited behaviors and obligations imposed on undertakings with significant market power that provide basic platform services to end users or commercial users residing or residing in the Republic of Turkey are also included in the scope of this law” to the second article of the Competition Law. With the decisions taken on a case-by-case basis, the Competition Board had formed precedents to prevent the regulations of e-Commerce platforms and e-Marketplaces that distort competition, highlight their own products, and provide competitive advantage with algorithms. The Competition Board, in such investigations and decisions, provides e-Marketplace and e-Commerce companies with equal opportunity for the products offered for sale, search engines, social media networks, communication channels, etc. It also deals with businesses with the concepts of “gatekeeper-gateway” in terms of mediating between companies and end users, which are also subject to legal regulation by the European Union, in terms of advertising. In addition, regarding both enterprise models; It was previously announced that the Competition Board developed an attitude towards preventing new companies from entering the market and buying lethal. The Board has already opened such investigations.
Enterprises established abroad are also covered.
In the draft prepared, Article 1 of the Law, which defines the purpose of the Competition Law and constitutes the basis of competition protection, is amended, and basic platform services with “significant market power” are added next to the phrase “undertakings that dominate the market”. The new version of the article, “The purpose of this law; To prevent agreements, decisions and practices that prevent, distort or restrict competition in the goods and services markets, and to prevent the undertakings that dominate the market from misusing these market powers in terms of basic platform services, to protect competition by making the necessary regulations and inspections and To ensure that a fair and competitive market structure is established and maintained in basic platform services”. With the amendment made in the second article of the Law, in order to clarify the situation of companies residing abroad in terms of competition law, “The prohibited behaviors in terms of undertakings with significant market power that provide basic platform services to end users residing or residing in the Republic of Turkey or resident commercial users and obligations also fall within the scope of this law” clause was added.
In the draft, definitions are also introduced to understand the enterprises operating depending on internet technology. Entity with Significant Market Power, which is the key audit criterion, “Operates to a certain scale in terms of one or more core platform services and has significant influence on access to end-users or the activities of commercial users and has the power to maintain that influence in an established and permanent manner; or undertakings that can be foreseen to be able to sustain in an established and permanent way”. The end user was defined as “real or legal person who uses the basic platform services and does not qualify as a commercial user”. With the draft, online brokerage services, online platform service, search engine services are added to the Competition Law as definitions with similar expressions to the previous law. Social networks and video sharing networks are also included in the legislation by definition. Draft law also, whatsapp, beep etc. It also defines communication channels, internet browsers, virtual assistants, cloud computing services, online advertising distributors and payment systems other than the international numbering system and includes them in the scope of competition law. Previously, a regulation was made for electronic commerce companies and platforms in the Turkish Commercial Code, and the principles on which they would carry out their commercial activities were determined and the penalties to be applied in case of violation were included in the law. Law No. 7416, adopted on 1 July, was later taken to the Constitutional Court by the Republican People’s Party. The Constitutional Court has not yet decided on this law. The draft, which envisages amending the Competition Law, complies with the basic regulation in this law, but brings an examination only in terms of undertakings with “significant market share” and within the scope of protection of competition.
“Liabilities of undertakings with significant market power”
The draft also included obligations for the definition and criteria of “Enterprise with Significant Market Power” included in competition law. Accordingly, such undertakings; It will offer its own goods and services equally with the goods it mediates for sale, it will not be able to use non-open data in commercial competition, it will not be able to make the goods and services offered for sale dependent on other goods and services, it will not be able to prevent access to its own platform, it will be easy to install and uninstall applications, it will not be able to prevent switching, (who sell products and services) will not be able to prohibit them from working with other platforms, can’t prevent them from selling at different prices and conditions, can’t prevent competitors from entering the market, and can’t match personal data with data obtained from third parties. The obligations included the obligation of online advertising service providers. According to this; “To the advertisers, publishers, advertising agents or third parties authorized by them to whom it provides online advertising services; Ad validation and performance measurement tools and use of free, continuous and real-time information about the visibility and usability of the ad portfolio, including the pricing terms of the bids submitted, the auction process and pricing principles, the fee paid to the publisher for the respective ad services. provides access to the necessary data for Obligation has been brought.
RK will be applied within 30 days
In the draft law, it was envisaged to determine threshold values in accordance with the definition of significant market power with a communiqué. Quantitative measures such as annual gross income, number of end users, number of commercial users, network effect, data ownership, vertically integrated and conglomerate structure, economies of scale and scope, lock-in and evolution effect, migration costs, multiple access, user trends, It will also determine qualitative criteria such as mergers and acquisitions by the enterprise. The companies covered will apply to the Competition Authority within 30 days after the relevant communiqué is issued for platforms that provide basic platform services. If there is an objection to the determination, it will be stated in this application. The determination to have significant market power will be valid for three years. If an application is not made 9 months before the deadline, it will be considered that the determination continues for another three years. BTK opinions and regulatory actions will be taken into account in online social networks, number-independent personal communication and cloud computing services.