Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Transparency of the Regulatory Authorities: An Analysis of Transparency of Competition Investigations in Turkey
Murat Çokgezen, Marmara University, Ali Ilicak, Independent, and Fevzi Toksoy, ACTECON analyze Transparency of the Regulatory Authorities: An Analysis of Transparency of Competition Investigations in Turkey.
ABSTRACT: This research analyses the transparency of regulations in the field of competition. Even though the topic is on regulations in the field of competition in general, it is specifically focused on: 1) how rules and policies to sustain competition are clear, open and accessible; and 2) transparency of the investigation process commenced by the regulatory authority on enterprises. Two different methods were applied to evaluate the transparency of these two fields. Firstly, a survey was prepared that included propositions on transparency; this was administered to staff of the regulatory authority, academics and legal experts specializing in competition law. Surveyees were asked to evaluate the transparency of each specific field. Secondly, by examining current laws, regulations, decisions of the regulatory authority and public communication channels, problems with the transparency of current rules and their enforcement were assessed. The experiences of the authors, the researchers and legal experts dealing with competition law who were brought together in a workshop organized as a part of this research guided us to determine the problems. The first method aimed to measure the perception of stakeholders, while the second method sought to determine the specific problems based on concrete facts. The following general findings were reached by the end of the research: 1) the legislation of competition and the Competition Authority are quite transparent in comparison with other fields of law and agencies in Turkey; 2) those who are obliged to provide information about competition regulation and those who use this information evaluate the transparency levels of regulations in the field of competition differently; 3) the Competition Authority places less importance on sharing information with third parties and the public than on sharing information with parties of the investigation; 4) problems with regard to the transparency of competition are mostly caused by enforcement of the current rules. The two basic problems regarding enforcement were determined to be: (a) not sharing current information with parties due to ‘confidentiality’ or ‘internal correspondence’; and (b) the Board’s inability to develop consistent practice on issues that are not clearly regulated by the laws.