The TCA has uploaded the long-awaited promotion video to its website, which is accessible at the right top corner of the Turkish version of the web page. The video, slightly over 4 minutes long, gives some basic information about what the benefits that competition brings to our lives and end with an assertive proposition: “if there is competition, so is happiness” (see here for more on the relation between competition and happiness).
Indeed, I noticed the video when I gave a break while reading a recent article by Nicolas Petit on “New Challenges for 21st Century Competition Authorities”. In the first part of the article, it is dealt with how competition authorities should provide guidance through negative (i.e. penalties, prohibition decisions) and positive enforcement techniques (i.e. issuing detailed clearance decisions). I would like to take this occasion to quote the part of the article on the mushrooming of these kinds of “advocacy gadgets”.
“Competition authorities like to look tough, but also like to look cool. This explains the mushrooming of advocacy “gadgets”, such as compliance movies, brochures, video games, comic strips, etc. Often, antitrust agencies present them as a source of guidance. Those instruments are, however, no surrogate for “positive enforcement”. They do not seek to clarify the substance of antitrust law. They simply try to raise awareness to the existence of competition rules. And when they do touch upon substantive issues, they stay at helicopter level. Finally, they do not originate from real life cases, they are very abstract. So whilst certainly useful, especially for new antitrust jurisdictions where market participants must be educated, advocacy instruments do not replace positive enforcement. “
After that, he gives the formula as to the optimal enforcement mix as follows:
“Optimal Compliance (OC) = deterrence through negative enforcement (D) + guidance through positive enforcement (G), with D>G; and D<1 and G>0.”
As far as I know, the Brazilian and Singapore competition agencies take the lead in this area as they have many advocacy gadgets such as brochures, videos, and animes etc. When we get back to the Turkish side, I should admit that it is a very late effort for a 15-year old authority albeit useful. It would not be a surprise if the TCA gets a similar video prepared about leniency in the near future like many other competition authorities did.