Competition Board launched a Sector Inquiry concerning E-Marketplace Platforms (11.8.2020)

According to the Competition Board decision dated 11.06.2020 and numbered 20-28/353-M, a sector inquiry concerning e-marketplace platforms has been launched. E-marketplace platforms are among important actors in online retail channel, which is a driver for the increase of e-trade in our country. 

This announcement aims to inform the public and includes the main developments that form the basis of the sector inquiry as well as brief information about the intended scope and nature of the inquiry.

E-marketplaces are different from the conventional markets because of the functioning and effects of the platform economy they have. They are among the leading market actors which determine the new economy’s competitive order with their business models and market behavior. 

From competition law perspective, market powers based on data ownership and network effects raise concerns about abusive behavior because of their simultaneous roles stemming from the fact that they are in the market both as a platform owner and as a seller.  Within this scope, it is often observed in competition law inquiries and in literature worldwide that e-marketplaces may engage in exclusionary and/or abusive practices by means of pricing, platform services and supply activities. It is also seen in the files submitted to the Competition Board that the sector has different competition dynamics and therefore involves a different and more complex structure and functioning than the one envisaged by the traditional legal frame.   

Within this framework, understanding (possible) competitive and anticompetitive effects created by e-marketplaces and forming effective policies based on those is an important step for the new economy to have a sound competitive order. The Sector Inquiry concerning E-Marketplace Platforms has been launched by the Competition Board to lead this step. 

In addition to e-marketplaces, consumers who use those platforms for shopping, retailers making sales over those platforms and associations of undertakings that represent the retailers will be contacted for maximum participation and data depth. With those data, the inquiry aims to draw a comprehensive picture of the sector, focusing on competitiveness and to identify the necessary steps to be taken in competition law and regulation pillars for ensuring efficient and competitive functioning on the basis of this picture. 

Respectfully submitted for the information of the public.