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01 April 2021
In its decision, the Competition Board provided a general overview of the investigated parties and their practices before delving into a substantial assessment.
WhatsApp Inc was established in 2009 in the United States. It is available on smartphones and app stores globally, as a platform that provides instant messaging and voice and video calling services.(3) At present, WhatsApp is offered to users free of charge without ads. In 2014 it was acquired by Facebook Inc,(4) which has become one of the leading technology companies in the world since its establishment in the United States in 2004. In addition to WhatsApp, Facebook's portfolio holds other social media and messaging platforms, such as Instagram and Facebook Messenger.
Initially, the Competition Board evaluated the competition law concerns which arose due to the newly amended obligations for WhatsApp users to share their data with other Facebook companies. The board assessed the extent of the data which WhatsApp can obtain and the significance of such data. On assessment, the Competition Board stated that WhatsApp could access users':
Subsequently, the decision considered:
The Competition Board's assessment of competition concerns was based on Facebook's share in the markets for:
For further information on this topic please contact Gönenç Gürkaynak, Eda Duru, Betül Baş Çömlekçi or Uygar Yetkiner at ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law by telephone (+90 212 327 17 24) or email (firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com). The ELIG Gürkaynak Attorneys-at-Law website can be accessed at www.elig.com.
(1) Decision 21-02/25-M, 11 January 2021. The announcement of the interim measure is available here.
(3) Further information is available here.
(4) At the time, based on the turnover figures of the transaction parties, the applicable jurisdictional turnover thresholds under Article 7 of Communique 2010/4 on Mergers and Acquisitions Requiring the Approval of the Competition Board had not been exceeded and thus the transaction did not require a mandatory merger control filing before the Turkish Competition Authority. The European Commission's approval decision on the transaction is available here (COMP/M.7217, Facebook/WhatsApp (2014)).
Esma Aktaş assisted in the preparation of this article.
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