Regional Goldsmith Association Fined 4000 USD

According to the the pronouncement (in English) and the short decision (in Turkish) dated 14.02.2013 and numbered 13-10/152-75,  The Association of Goldsmiths and Jewelers in Konya, one of the oldest and biggest cities of Turkey, located in central Anatolia was fined as it was found that this association had violated the Article 4 of the Act no 4054  by fixing selling prices for gold wares and jewelry and by introducing restriction on sales/marketing activities such as advertisements and promotions.

The members of this association which was found in 1985 are the retailers and wholesalers of gold and jewelry. The preliminary inquiry, which led the investigation, was opened in response to the application claiming that

-businesses were prevented from making sales at prices below those determined by the Association and

-fines were imposed on businesses selling at low prices.

During the investigation phase, it was examined whether the Association fixed selling and repair prices for gold as well as sale and marketing conditions outside of the market.

The fine is about 4000 USD (That’s about 7000 Turkish Liras).  The fine was calculated as 3% of the 2012 income of the Association, which probably includes only  membership dues.

In fact this case is one of the cases on price-fixing by goldsmith associations in different regions of Turkey. There were similar fines as results of investigations of goldsmith associations of Afyonkarahisar/2006, Balıkesir/2007, Manisa/2007. More cases resulted with no fines or The Board Opinion according to Article 9/3*.

Fining the associations instead of individual undertakings who are the members of that association is a controversial issue because of the likely lower fines. On the other hand, occasionally it is found that the associations have the central decisive role and moreover, dealing with only one body -that is the association- instead of hundreds of undertakings may create huge procedural efficiencies. For example in the Pharmacies’ Boycott Case, The TCA fined the Turkish Pharmacists’ Association instead of thousands of pharmacies, also probably taking into account its significant role in the infringement of Article 4 of the Act 4054.

*Article 9/3 of Act no 4054: “The Board, prior to taking a decision, shall inform in writing the undertaking or associations of undertakings concerned of its opinions concerning how to terminate the infringement”

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