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Investigation Process under the Turkish Competition Law

Under the Competition Law , the preliminary report of the Competition Authority experts will be submitted to the Board within 30 days after the Board takes a pre-investigation decision. If the Board decides to initiate an investigation, it will send a notice to the companies concerned and the investigation will be completed within six months. If deemed necessary, the Board may extend this period only once, for an additional period of up to six months.


Once the notice has been formally served, the investigated companies have 30 days to prepare and submit their first written defenses (first plea). Subsequently, the Competition Authority issues the main investigation report. Once this is served on the companies concerned, they have 30 calendar days to respond, extendable for a further 30 days (this is the second written defense). The investigation committee will then have 15 days to prepare an additional opinion concerning the second written defense. The defending parties will have another 30-day period to reply to the additional opinion (third written defense).


When this defense is served to the Competition Authority, the investigation process will be completed (i.e. the written phase of investigation involving the claim/defense exchange will close with the submission of the third written defense). An oral hearing may be held upon request by the parties or by the Board’s ex officio decision.


Oral hearings will last 30 to 60 days following the completion of the investigation process under the provisions of Communiqué No. 2010/2 on Oral Hearings before the Competition Board. The Board will render its final decision within 15 days from the hearing, if an oral hearing is held; otherwise, the decision is rendered 30 days from the completion of the investigation process. It usually takes around two to three months


(from the announcement of the final decision) for the Competition Board to serve a reasoned decision on the counterpart.


Under Turkish law, the administrative sanction decisions of the Competition Board can be submitted for judicial review before the administrative courts in Ankara by filing an appeal case within 60 days upon receipt by the parties of the justified (reasoned) decision of the board.


As per the Administrative Procedural Law, filing an administrative action does not automatically stay the execution of the decision of the Board. However, upon request of the plaintiff, the court, by providing its justifications, may decide the stay of the execution if the execution of the decision is likely to cause serious and irreparable damages; and if the decision is highly likely to be against the law (i.e. showing of a prima facie case).


The judicial review period before the Administrative Court usually takes about 24 to 30 months. If the challenged decision is annulled in full or in part, the Administrative Court remands it to the Board for review and reconsideration. It should, however, be noted that due to the characteristics and complexities of competition litigation, and in particular, the expert economic analysis that may be required for relatively complex cases and the possibility of further difficulties that may arise in proving the actual amount of damage suffered by the claimant, such lawsuits may take longer to become finalized than other tort lawsuits would.


Decisions of courts in private suits are appeal-able before the Supreme Court of Appeals. The appeal process in private suits is governed by the general procedural laws and usually takes more than 18 months.


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