Cartel decision of the Turkish Competition Authority, ruling 12 banks operating in Turkey involved cartel activities by making agreements and/or engaging in concerted practices related to deposit, loan and credit card services between 21.08.2007 and 22.09.2011, is approved by the Turkish Council State
Consumers suffered from the cartel activities have started to file the compensation lawsuit before consumer courts whilst traders have started to file before commercial courts.
According to the Turkish Competition Authority’s decision dated 8 March 2013 banks has violated Article 4 of the Act no 4054 on the Protection of Competition (Act no 4054) by making agreements and/or engaging and/or cartelise in concerted practices related to deposit, loan and credit card services.
Consequently, the Authority imposed heavy fines to 12 banks that involved the cartel activity amount in total of 1 billion 116 million 957 thousand 468 TL. All the objections to this decision has been rejected by the Turkish Council State and it became final and binding.
According to Turkish Competition Authority’s determination, which is based on the Act On the Protection of Competition, Article 4;
Agreements and concerted practices between undertakings, and decisions and practices of associations of undertakings which have as their object or effect or likely effect the prevention, distortion or restriction of competition directly or indirectly in a particular market for goods or services are illegal and prohibited.”
The provision was modelled on article 101(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
The Competition Authority found out that the banks have arranged over a gentlemen agreement to increase the interest rates of several products.
According to Article 58 of the Act, the ones have violated competition over gentlemen agreement might be faced up to three-fold compensation of the material damage incurred or of the profits gained or likely to be gained by those who caused the damage incurred or of the profits gained or likely to be gained by those who caused the damage.