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Turkey’s competition board fines 16 companies for anti-competitive practices

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The Turkish Competition Authority has imposed fines totaling 151.14 million Turkish lira ($5.6 million) on 16 companies for violating competition law through no-poach agreements, a type of arrangement between employers in which they agree not to hire or recruit each other’s employees, the state-run TRT reported on Friday.

According to a statement on the regulatory body’s website, the companies were found to have made gentlemen’s agreements to refrain from hiring each other’s employees, thereby violating the Law on the Protection of Competition. These agreements essentially involved employers mutually renouncing competition over one of their most vital inputs — labor.

Such agreements can artificially suppress wages and reduce labor mobility between companies, leading to inefficiency in the distribution of employees and potential harm to the competitive structure of the labor market.

Several of the implicated companies included major players in the Turkish market. Turkish Telecom was hit with the heaviest fine of 41.02 million Turkish lira ($1.5 million), while LC Waikiki, a popular retail clothing brand, received a fine of 59.59 million Turkish lira ($2.18 million). Other companies included TAB Food Industry, fined 7.29 million lira ($270,000), and Vodafone Telecommunication, which was penalized with a 5.32 million lira ($197,120) fine.

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