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FINES FROM THE TURKISH COMPETITION AUTHORITY TO PRIVATE HOSPITALS IN BURSA AND SAMSUN

The Turkish Competition Authority has declared with its announcement dated 2 March 2022 that the investigation carried out upon the allegations regarding whether some private healthcare institutions and associations of undertakings jointly determined operating room service fees requested from the doctors and prevented personal transfers between hospitals through gentlemen’s agreements (“Investigation”). As a result of the Investigation carried out concerning some private hospitals that operate activities in Bursa and Samsun provinces, approximately 58 million Turkish Liras administrative fine has been decided to be imposed in total.


There are three breach findings are included in the short decision attached to the announcement.


Firstly, it is seen that administrative fines have been imposed as some hospitals determined prices by agreeing among themselves both in Bursa and Samsun provinces. These behaviors have been evaluated as a cartel by the Turkish Competition Board (“Board”) and approximately 13 million Turkish Liras administrative fine has been imposed on the undertakings because of the price determination.


Secondly, it is seen that approximately 43 million Turkish Liras administrative fine has been imposed as competition in the workforce market has been restricted due to the determination of personnel wage scales and gentlemen’s agreement preventing personnel transfers between the hospitals. It is important to note that a breach regarding the workforce market has been qualified as a cartel by this evaluation of the Board and the first investigation initiated in the workforce market has resulted in an administrative fine.


Lastly, an administrative fine of around 1.4 million Turkish Liras has also been decided to be imposed because of the competition-sensitive information that has been exchanged between some hospitals operating activities in Bursa province and Bursa Private Healthcare Institutions Association. The Board evaluated this breach under the “other breaches” category.


We think that discussions on cartel assessments of the Board, workforce market and economic unity of the undertakings will also emerge following the announcement of the reasoned decision and starting of lawsuit processes.

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