The International Competition Network (ICN) is an informal network of national or multinational competition authorities established in 2001 for handling competition-related problems by focusing on enhancing cooperation and harmony in procedural and substantial matters between existing and newly established competition authorities. Extending antitrust experience and best practices in the area of implementing competition rules, enhancing the advocacy role of competition authorities and international cooperation are among the basic goals of ICN. ICN carries out its studies through project-oriented methods and members possess a full discretionary power in deciding on the implementation of a recommendation or best practices that are adopted unanimously as a result of such projects. Turkish Competition Authority has been a member of ICN since 2002.
ICN is directed by “Steering Groups”, composed of 15 selected, including Turkey, and three ex officio appointed member competition agencies. Existing working groups of ICN are “Mergers”, “Cartels”, “Agency Effectiveness”, “Competition Advocacy” and “Unilateral Conduct”. The basic activities of working groups are collecting questionnaires, preparing reports and guidelines to provide guidance to member competition agencies and organizing workshops and teleconferences. These working groups are based on voluntary participation and are composed of the officers of member competition authorities. All working groups have three co-chairs except cartel working group. Cartel working group has two sub-groups with two co-chairs for each beside three co-chairs.
Turkish Competition Authority was the co-chair of Competition Policy Implementation Working Group, now called “Agency Effectiveness Working Group” and of “Unilateral Conduct Working Group” between 2011-2015. As of 2017, Turkish Competition Authority has been the co-chair of sub-group no.1 of Cartel Working Group.
ICN has been organizing annual conferences regularly since 2002. Annual Conferences are organized by different member countries each year and serve as a platform where the work performed by ICN within the last year is discussed, concluded and shared with the public. Turkish Competition Authority hosted the 9th Annual Conference in İstanbul between April 27-29, 2010.
Beside the 9th Annual Conference, Turkish Competition Authority hosted the conference organized by the Unilateral Conduct Group in Istanbul in 2015, where more than 90 participants from more than 40 countries attended and a case study on “refusal to deal” prepared by the Antitrust Division of US Department of Justice was discussed.
Being aware of the importance of ICN, Turkish Competition Authority actively participates to the activities of ICN working groups to share its experiences and make contributions. In fact, the leadership of the project on “state monopolies” under the body of Unilateral Conduct Working Group was granted to the Competition Authority in 2006. The report prepared within the scope of the said project "Report on the Objectives of Unilateral Conduct Laws, Assessment of Dominance/Substantial Market Power, and State-Created Monopolies” was submitted to the participants during the 6th Annual Conference in Moscow. Subsequently, the "recommended practices guide" particularly aimed at developing countries and countries in transition has been prepared under the chairmanship of Turkish Competition Authority in relation to the topic. The guide suggests that competition law enforcement towards state monopolies should not be different from those related to private sector undertakings and examines what advocacy tasks competition agencies should undertake in liberalization and privatization processes, and intends to provide guidance about the instruments to be employed in this process.
Similarly, Turkish Competition Authority was one of the joint reporters of the Report on the Agency Effectiveness Project Second Phase – Effectiveness of Decisions, which is about the effectiveness of the decisions taken by competition agencies, prepared as a part of the second leg of the effectiveness project conducted under Agency Effectiveness Working Group.
As the 9th ICN Annual Conference was held in Istanbul in 2010, the Turkish Competition Authority prepared a questionnaire within the scope of the special project “the Interface between Competition Policy and other Public Policies”. A report (Report on Interface between Competition Policy and other Public Policies) was prepared by considering the responses to the questionnaire from competition authorities in 33 jurisdictions.
The Competition Authority also made contributions to the chapter on “Tying” in the workbook on how member competition agencies analyzes unilateral conduct, prepared by the Unilateral Conduct Working Group. The chapters of the said workbook on Objectives of Unilateral Conduct Laws, Assesment of Dominance/Substantial Market Power, Predatory Pricing Analysis and Exclusive Dealing/Single Branding were published.
Lastly, it should be noted that Turkish Competition Authority makes contributions to all questionnaires and reports prepared by ICN beside the studies mentioned above, which enhances the weight of Turkidh Competition Authority in international competition community.