Turkey competition board opens probe against alcoholic beverage company

Turkey’s competition board has opened a probe into Diageo’s Mey İçki to examine whether the leading alcoholic beverage producer abused its market dominance in the country. The board said it had found the preliminary findings on the company’s moves “serious and adequate” enough to launch an investigation into whether it abused its market dominance at a meeting on July 28. The competition board had opened a probe in 2013 into Mey İçki on the grounds it had breached competition principles by preventing the sale of competitors’ products in stores. It then announced on its official website the board had launched a preliminary investigation after receiving complaints alleging Mey İçki had violated the law on Protection of Competition by hindering the sales of its competitors’ products in stores, applying exclusivity for its own products and obstructing its competitors’ activities. The board in June 2014 fined the company 41.5 million Turkish Liras, 1.5 percent of its 2013 sales revenue, for abusing its dominance in the market for rakı, a popular Turkish alcoholic beverage. Diageo bought Mey İçki from TPG Capital LP and local private equity group Actera in 2011 for $2.1 billion.

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