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The long-lasting bill of Law on The Act on the Protection of Competition (The Competition Act) was ratified by Turkish Parliement on 06.16.2020. This amendment is the most extensive reform of antitrust enforcement system since the enactment of the Competition Act in 1994. The most significant changes are explained below:

On 28 June 2020 issue of official gazette Turkey Payment and Electronic Money Association Statute is published and with that Turkey Payment and Electronic Money Association is formed. Pursuant to Article 7 of this statute, “All payment and electronic money institutions are obliged to become a member of the association within one month after obtaining an operating license. Organizations that do not fulfill this obligation by the association shall be notified to the Central Bank of the Republic of Turkey."

After rounds of revisions and failed attempts of enactment over a span of several years, the proposal for an amendment to the Law No. 4054 on Protection of Competition (“Law no. 4054”) (“Amendment Proposal”) has finally been approved by the Turkish parliament, namely the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, yesterday.

Fintech is described by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) as “technology-enabled innovation in financial services that could result in new business models, applications, processes or products with an associated material effect on the provision of financial services”. Fintech companies of all sort, have so far triggered a remarkable transformation in the provision of financial services. The impacts of this ongoing transformation on market structure is inevitable, as these companies are growing as new market players.

White & Case and its associated Turkish firm, GKC Partners, have advised interactive entertainment company Zynga Inc. on its USD 1.8 billion acquisition of Istanbul-based Peak Oyun Yazilim ve Pazarlama, A.S. Baker McKenzie, working with its Turkish affiliate, the Esin Attorney Partnership, advised Peak on the transaction, which is expected to close in the third quarter of 2020.

Recently, the spread of COVID-19 has been classified as a “pandemic” by the World Health Organization. With the global contagion of the epidemic, rumors have appeared regarding the development of new medicines and vaccines in Turkey, as everywhere else, and this situation has caused much misleading news and information to be published by the media and on the Internet.

The coronavirus pandemic has produced material effects on economy and triggered a global economic crisis leading to major changes in commercial activities. Significant part of the world population has largely changed their spending habits that almost stopped the functioning of multiple industries while demand for several others such as health equipment, food products and cleaning materials upsurged. Towering demand for these products caught companies unprepared and led to a supply crisis.

Turkish Competition Authority (TCA) revoked the individual exemption granted in 2016 to BKM Express, the joint digital wallet service of 13 leading banks, operated by The Interbank Card Center (BKM). TCA also mandated the termination of this activity in 60 days after declaration of reasoned decision. This is a landmark antitrust intervention of Turkish antitrust watchdog, addressing the rising competition concerns in the newly emerging fintech markets in order to ensure a competitive market structure and pave the way for innovative fintech startups to enter the market and operate effectively.

Commitment is a procedural innovation and a way of settlement in competition law where undertakings under investigation, propose a set of behaviors (or structural remedies) addressing the competition concerns raised by antitrust authority. In return, the authority terminates the ongoing investigation in early stages and makes the proposed commitments binding on the undertaking, provided that the commitments are satisfactory in resolving the competition concerns in that specific case. Undertakings are not forced to acknowledge the violation and the undergoing probe is closed with no fine within this mechanism. Both parties, the Authority and the undertakings gain significant procedural efficiency in total.

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