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04 October 2018
In May 2017 the Competition Board launched an investigation into Sahibinden Bilgi Teknolojileri Pazarlama ve Ticaret AŞ (Sahibinden.com). The investigation examined allegations of abuse of dominance by Sahibinden.com through its application of excessive prices for the provision of online ad services to commercial customers for the sale and rental of real estate. In September 2017 the board launched an additional investigation into Sahibinden.com's provision of online ad services to commercial customers for the sale and rental of vehicles and amalgamated it with the previously initiated investigation.
On October 1 2018, following 16 months of investigation, the board unanimously found that Sahibinden.com had a dominant position in Turkey in the markets for the provision of online ad services for the sale and rental of real estate and vehicles.
Moreover, the board concluded by a majority that Sahibinden.com had abused its dominant position under Article 6 of Law 4054 on the Protection of Competition through its application of excessive prices in these markets. As a result, the board imposed a turnover-based administrative fine of TL10,680,425.98 (approximately €1,543,414) on Sahibinden.com.
The decision could set a landmark precedent in terms of the analysis of excessive pricing in the online sector and is the first decision of its kind globally to concern the online ads market. The reasoned decision, which is expected to be published in the following months, is likely to provide further insight into and detailed explanation of the board's assessment of dominant positions and excessive pricing in dynamic markets.
However, it is extremely concerning to see that bricks-and-mortar market reflexes are making heavy inroads into the enforcement of online markets, especially in a form of allegation such as excessive pricing, which should be treated very carefully.
For further information on this topic please contact Gönenç Gürkaynak at ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law by telephone (+90 212 327 17 24) or email (email@example.com). The ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law website can be accessed at www.elig.com.
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