New appointments

Three places on the Competition Board – the Competition Authority's decision-making organ – which were vacant for almost three months have now been filled.

Pursuant to Decree 2015/7867, published in the Official Gazette (29,396) on June 24 2015, the Council of Ministers appointed the following persons to the board:

  • Ömer Torlak – nominated by the Union of Chambers and Commodity Exchanges of Turkey and appointed to act as chairman;(1)
  • Arslan Narin – nominated by the Ministry of Customs and Trade and appointed to act as deputy chairman;(2) and
  • Kenan Türk – nominated by the Supreme Court of Appeals and appointed to act as a board member.(3)

Appointments overdue

The appointments were long awaited as – for the first time in its 18-year history – the board has been unable to make decisions on any matter since early April 2015, when it lost the required quorum due to three members leaving their positions. Hence, final decisions concerning merger control, pre-investigations and investigations have been pending due to the board's lack of quorum.

During this period a number of transactions received tacit approval pursuant to Article 10(2) of Law 4054 on the Protection of Competition, which provides that:

"If the Board does not respond to or take any action for the application as to a merger or acquisition within due time, merger or acquisition agreements shall take effect and become legally valid after 30 days as of the date of the notification."

Although the inauguration date of the newly appointed board members is not specified in the relevant legislation, as a general rule the chairman and members of the board may not assume office before taking an oath before the Supreme Court of Appeals. The application to take the oath is deemed to be an urgent matter by the court.

While there may be a backlog of work once the newly appointed members assume their duties, the board will carry on with the pending matters on its agenda, including merger control decisions, pre-investigations and investigation files. The board will have a busy schedule and is expected to resume pre-investigations, which were delayed due to the lack of quorum.

Composition of board

Following the new appointments by the Council of Ministers, the board is now composed of:

  • Ömer Torlak – chairman;
  • Arslan Narin – deputy chairman;
  • Kenan Türk – member;
  • Resit Gürpinar – member;
  • Fevzi Özkan – member;
  • Tahir Saraç – member; and
  • Metin Arslan – member.

For further information on this topic please contact Gönenç? Gürkaynak at ELIG, Attorneys at Law by telephone (+90 212 327 17 24) or email (gonenc.gurkaynak@elig.com). The ELIG, Attorneys at Law website can be accessed at www.elig.com.

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