Competition and Antitrust
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Nysingh advocaten-notarissen N.V.
Kirton McConkie, PC
Author: Tom Griffith
A number of vocational education providers recently been targeted by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in light of various unlawful sales tactics deployed by them.
In the last two months alone, the Federal Court of Australia has ruled against three major service providers, Get Qualified Australia Pty Ltd, Acquire Learning and Careers Pty Ltd and Unique International College Pty Ltd. Acquire Learning and Careers has been ordered to pay penalties of $4.5 million which is the ACCC’s second largest consumer protection penalty. Penalties are yet to be decided in the case of Get Qualified and Unique.
The European Commission’s (“EU Commission”) e-commerce sector inquiry that started on May 6, 2015 is finalized, and the final report (“E-commerce Report”) is published. The EU e-commerce market, which has been systematically grown in the past few years, is one of the largest markets in the world. The percentage of people who shop online was 30% in 2007, and it increased to 55% in 2016. The E-Commerce Report enabled the EU Commission to analyze all the dynamics, competitive concerns and market practices in the e-commerce market. Thus, in the context of the resolutions of the E-Commerce Report, in the long term, various changes may be observed within the European Union competition law.
Block Exemption Communiqué on Vertical Agreements and Concerted Practices in the Motor Vehicle Sector numbered 2017/3 (“Communiqué”) entered into force through publication in the Official Gazette dated February 24, 2017, numbered 29989. The Communiqué abolished the Block Exemption Communiqué on Vertical Agreements and Concerted Practices in the Motor Vehicle Sector numbered 2005/4 (“Abrogated Communiqué”) regulating distribution agreements in the motor vehicle sector, which had been in force since January 1, 2006.
For the purpose of clarity with respect to the issues that are addressed through the application of the Communiqué, and lowering the risk for any possible uncertainty that the undertakings might face, the Guidelines on the Explanation of the Block Exemption Communiqué on Vertical Agreements and Concerted Practices in the Motor Vehicle Sector was adopted.
The Communiqué was prepared considering the problems faced during the application of the Abrogated Communiqué, and efforts were made to create conformity with the European Union regulation. The system that was regulated under the Abrogated Communiqué is mostly preserved by the changes that are made in terms of the general conditions of the block exemption.
Author: Mert Karamustafaoglu
By its recently initiated three investigations, Akdeniz Elektrik Dağıtım A.Ş. (“Akdeniz Elektrik”), Enerjisa, and Gediz-Aydem, the Competition Board signals that it will adopt a more active policy in the coming days in the electricity sector. The problems with regard to the dominant positions of electricity distribution companies due to their market power in their areas, and the adaptation difficulties with respect to the legal unbundling principles, are familiar problems in the electricity sector. However, in 2014, it was claimed that the distribution companies engaged in various practices to complicate the operations of independent providers and prevent the exercise of consumers’ rights to choose their own providers. Moreover, although the Competition Board’s Sector Inquiry in Electricity Wholesale and Retail Sale Markets (“Sector Inquiry”) examined these claims in detail, the Competition Board decisions did not made any determinations as to breach.
Author: Assoc. Prof. Murat Develioglu
Recently, the 11th Civil Chamber of the Court of Cassation has adopted a different view from its longstanding approach with regard to claims against infringers of the Law on the Protection of Competition, based on provisions regulating torts in the Turkish Code of Obligations, wherein the commencement of the statute of limitations has been defined differently. These new decisions are analyzed hereinafter.