Sector Inquiry on Online Advertising Sector

The Competition Authority announced that the Competition Board decided to launch an inquiry related to the online advertising sector on 21.01.2021.

As mentioned in the announcement, the online advertising sector has a complex supply chain which includes various services and actors. It has been emphasized that the market is in an intricate structure and develops rapidly. Similar to the global practice and having become subject to inquiries in some countries, the broadcasting sector has gravitated from traditional channels towards digital media in recent years in Turkey, the increase in online advertising has gained a great momentum by the increase in e-commerce and internet and social media usage habits made Turkey an important market as noted by the Competition Authority.

The announcement reminded of another sector inquiry launched by the Competition Authority about e-commerce platforms on 16.07.2020. The Competition Authority had performed an efficient work during the relevant inquiry. With this respect, we can say that some results reached in the respective e-Marketplace Platforms Sector Inquiry and the close link between these two markets also led the Competition Authority to this Online Advertising Sector Inquiry. As stated in the announcement, one of the main reasons behind this sector inquiry is anti-competitive concerns about practices due to the market power of a small number of undertakings in the sector depending especially on the size of their data and product portfolio.

The Competition Authority aims to meet with decision makers, undertakings, and associations of undertakings in the sector during this sector inquiry and to organize various workshops to identify market and competition problems as well as to find solutions where necessary. Within this scope, the Competition Authority may send a list of questions directly to companies and other persons who are engaged in the online advertising sector. They may also request one-on-one meetings or arrange well-attended meetings where the relevant actors are invited.

With the relevant studies, the Competition Authority will try to understand how the sector functions and what are the structural and/or behavioural competition concerns in the sector to identify the problems. Moreover, they will discuss the competence of the current competition law instruments to respond the problems and to establish effectively competitive environment. They will evaluate possible new instruments and any recommendations too.

Regardless of being contacted by the Competition Authority, all stakeholders who desire to convey their opinions and recommendations about the sector will be able to share the same with the Authority by sending e-mails to reklamcilik@rekabet.gov.tr until 21.06.2021 along with requests for confidentiality if any.

The full announcement is available in Turkish here.

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