The Turkish Competition Board Has Published the “Türk Philips Ticaret A.Ş.” Investigation Decision That Will Affect the Medical Device Industry

The Turkish Competition Board (the “Board”) has announced its decision following an investigation into claims against “Türk Philips Ticaret A.Ş.” (Philips Turkey). It had been claimed that Philips Turkey had violated the Law on the Protection of Competition No. 4054 (the “Law”) by failing to provide the applicant with the password and activation required for the maintenance and repair of medical imaging devices. However, following the investigation, it has been decided that the company had not abused its dominant position within the framework of Article 6 of the Law, and there was, therefore, no need to impose an administrative fine under Paragraph 3 of Article 16 of the Law.

Services That Should Be Offered by Medical Device Companies

In addition to the decision, the Board also published a list of services that undertakings operating in the medical imaging and diagnostics market should offer. In cases of non-compliance with the list, the Competition Authority Presidency will be appointed to issue an opinion on action that will be initiated against non-compliant undertakings within the framework of the Law. You can find the list below.
1.    Following the expiry of a warranty period for a medical device, companies must provide passwords, or any similar internal system, for the medical devices within 24 hours, free of charge, on workdays, except for force majeure, upon the written request of a customer, or the written application of technical services who have received a customer’s request.
2.    In the event that a customer makes a written request or the technical services that receive a written request make a written application, apparatuses/devices that are installed outside the device enabling technical service of the device must be delivered to the customer in a maximum of three days of the request.
3.    Passwords used for the repair and maintenance of devices or any internal system or apparatuses/devices that enable technical service must be provided for at least 30 days.
4.    Rental fees for the apparatus must be determined in a non-discriminatory manner and proportional to the cost of the apparatus.
5.    At the time of the sale of a device, the customers must be informed in writing of the above-mentioned issues.
6.    Updated price lists of the 100 most used spare parts based on the sales data of the last three years of medical devices, must be announced on an online platform that is accessible to everyone.
7.    Spare part price requests from customers and competitor service providers must be answered within three working days.
8.    In the sale of spare parts, discriminatory practices that are not based on objective criteria must not be applied to rival service providers and their customers.

Conclusion

It is of great importance that the medical device industry, which is subject to strict regulations, pays attention to the services specified by the Turkish Competition Authority. These services appear as a guide for medical device companies to prevent any violation and, accordingly, to comply with Turkish Competition regulations.

You can read the decision here. (Available only in Turkish)

With thanks to Ece Mert for her assistance on this article.