“The Regulation on the Reconciliation Procedure Applicable in Investigations Regarding Anti-Competitive Agreements, Harmonious Act and Decisions, and Abuse of Dominance” (“Regulation”) has been published by the Competition Authority (“Authority”) in the Official Gazette dated 15.07.2021 and numbered 31542. The Regulation regulates pursuant to Article 43 of the Law No 4054 on the Protection of Competition (“Law”); the procedures and principles regarding the process to be applied for the reconciliation for those who accept the existence and scope of the violation among the undertakings, or the associations of undertakings; about which an investigation has initiated regarding the prohibited actions in the Articles 4 and 6 of the Law. The regulation had entered into force in date of its publication. The procedures and principles regulated by the Regulation are as followings:
1- Procedure for Initiating Reconciliation Negotiations
The reconciliation procedure is either ex officio initiated by the Board of the Competition Board (“Board”) after the commencement of the investigation and then the parties are invited to the reconciliation negotiations; or the parties agree to initiate reconciliation negotiations and after, the Board accept the request. Upon the acceptance, the Competition Authority (“Authority”) initiates reconciliation negotiations as soon as possible.
2- General Principles Regarding Reconciliation Negotiations
- Acceptance of the reconciliation negotiations does not mean for the parties have accepted the violation.
- Parties may withdraw the process until the submission of reconciliation text.
- If there is more than one reconciliation party, it is essential that these negotiations to be held separately.
- The negotiations are recorded by official report and this report is kept as internal correspondence in the Authority.
- Parties can get information about the content of the claim, the nature and scope of the violation, the main evidence that constitutes the basis of the violation (provided that it does not include any trade secrets), the range of administrative fines and the discount that may be applied to the fine as a result of the reconciliation; all provided that the security of the investigation is not compromised.
- The parties of the reconciliation have the obligation to keep the information and documents confidential, that they have accessed within the scope of the negotiations until the final decision.
3- Interim Decision of Reconciliation and Reconciliation Text
Following the completion of reconciliation negotiations, the Board make an interim decision determining the scope and nature of the violation, the maximum penalty that can be imposed, the rate of reduction that can be made, and precise the time period to send the text to the Authority. Issued in the interim decision cannot be discussed.
When the reconciliation party accepts the interim decision, it presents the reconciliation text by adding additional provisions foreseen in the Article 8 of the Regulation. Administrative fines and reconciliation text cannot be subject to a lawsuit. The reconciliation text is kept as internal correspondence in the Authority.
4- Final Decision
The final decision regarding the administrative fine and the determination of violation is made by the Board, within 15 days after entrance of the reconciliation text to the Authority’s records.
Briefly, by this Regulation, it is purposed to determine the procedures and principles to be followed in the reconciliation and in the reconciliation negotiations, when the alleged violations have been accepted by the parties in the investigations opened regarding the prohibited actions in the Law. The regulation had entered into force in date of its publication.
You may reach the full Turkish version of the Regulation via the link below: