Turkish Consumer Electronics Sector under Antitrust Investigation

Atari“The prayer of an angry gamer is so powerful that server gods hear it instantly and help the one. Thus if  you don’t want to face the rage of the gods you’d better not piss a gamer off.”

A legend from the age of empires.

In February the TCA opened an investigation into the following undertakings which operate in computer and video game consoles retail business in Turkey: Aral Game, Bimeks, D&R, Teknosa and Vatan Computer.

The reason behind this investigation was the alleged RPM aggreement and anticompetitive cooperation between Aral Game, which is a (or the) major video game importer/distributer in Turkey, and abovementioned retailers. This investigation was welcomed by the Turkish gamers as they celebrated this intervention and expected that it would solve the rocket prices in video games in Turkey. A quick googling shows that the gamers were already discussing the high video game prices and the pricing policy in forums even with a petition, with over 10,500 petitioners, calling gamers to a boycott. They also blamed world-wide game developers like Ubi-Soft, Sony and Microsoft for not acting against those high prices in Turkey.

Well, the story does not end here. A couple of days ago the TCA announced that Gold Computer and Kliksa which are other two major technology retailers, were also included in this investigation while it widened the scope of the investigation from video/console games to consumer electronics and three more undertakings, LG Electronics Turkey, Media Markt Turkey, and Türk Philips, were also included.

With this last decision almost all major electronic distributors, retailers and  producers, including international chains,  in Turkey are now under an antitrust investigation which had started with a focus on just video games but then its scope extended covering the markets for consumer electronics. The investigation may be regarded as industry wide since it would be very difficult for a Turkish consumer to think about any other electronics retailer apart from those under investigation. The widened investigation is still about the breach of Article 4 of the Act No: 4054 which is on anti-competitive agreements.

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