Turkey Watchdog Considers New Fines For Price Gouging

Turkey’s official anti-trust watchdog expects to impose a new raft of fines on some of the country’s top retailers and wholesalers after an investigation found they were colluding to drive up prices. 

The warning comes after five of the country’s largest chain stores, as well as a supplier of olive oil, were fined 2.6 billion liras ($155 million) following an investigation that concluded last year.

“Not all price hikes are the result of costs, demand or rising commodity prices on global markets. If that difference in prices is caused by a lack of competition, that is our responsibility,” said Birol Kule, head of Turkey’s Competition Agency, in an interview. “I can’t sleep when I think about our role in inflation.” 

Read More: Antitrust Chronicle™ – Intermediaries

The Competition Agency has stepped up inspections as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan resists pressure to tighten monetary policy, blaming runaway price rises on hoarding and collusion by retailers and middlemen. Turkish competition authorities have taken a harder stance against price-fixing and other competition violations in recent years, with the agency planning to expand its capacity significantly in coming years.

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