In an attempt to strengthen relations between the Communication Technologies Authority and the Competition Authority, and to ensure more efficient cooperation between these two independent authorities, a protocol entitled "Cooperation Protocol between the Information and Communication Technologies Authority and the Competition Authority" was signed on November 2 2011.

The aims of the protocol can be summarised as follows:

  • to maintain and improve the competitive environment in the electronic communication sector;
  • to determine procedural issues and grounds regarding cooperation;
  • to address relevant subjects which fall within the authorities' remit;
  • to prevent conflicting actions by operators aiming to obtain the most favourable decision through complaints or notifications made before one or both of the authorities; and
  • to establish a collective approach regarding the interpretation of relevant regulations and decision making regarding cooperation and information exchange between the authorities.

The protocol was based on Articles 6 and 7 of the Electronic Communication Law (5809) and Articles 27 and 30 of the Competition Law (4054).

Article 7 of the protocol provides that during its examinations and investigations regarding the electronic communication sector, reviews of mergers and acquisitions and any other market issues, the Competition Authority must take into consideration the Communication Technologies Authority's opinion and regulative actions before making any decision. The Communication Technologies Authority will also receive the Competition Authority's opinion regarding market analysis.

On receiving a complaint regarding abuse of market power, the Competition Authority must first consider whether the scope of the complaint is regulated under the Electronic Communication Law or under secondary legislation (eg, cases where a decision imposes an obligation on undertakings or decisions which are taken at the end of a reconciliation process). In such cases the Competition Authority may refer the application to the Communication Technologies Authority.

In case of a complaint made before the Competition Authority with respect to abuse of market power in any market related to electronic communication, the Competition Authority must request the Communication Technologies Authority's opinion. The Competition Authority may suspend the investigation process by taking into consideration the duration and nature of the breach which is the subject of the complaint in cases where:

  • the Communication Technologies Authority's opinion contains an a priori regulating obligation regarding the issue which is the subject of the complaint; or
  • the Competition Authority was informed that necessary action will be taken by the Communication Technologies Authority.

Furthermore, the Competition Authority may revisit the issue and review the complaint in cases where:

  • an a priori regulating action which would remedy the issue within a reasonable and applicable timeframe under the relevant legislation will not be taken by the Communication Technologies Authority; or
  • the Communication Technologies Authority notified the Competition Authority that an a priori regulating action is not necessary.

For further information on this topic please contact Gonenc Gürkaynak at ELIG by telephone (+90 212 327 17 24), fax (+90 212 327 17 25) or email ([email protected]).