Turkey’s sole refinery submits verbal defense in competition probe

Turkey’s sole refinery submits verbal defense in competition probe

Two Koç firms, Turkey’s sole petroleum refiner, Tüpraş, and oil distributor Opet, have submitted their verbal defenses as part of an investigation launched over allegations that they violated competitive rules.

Turkey’s Competition Board initiated an investigation in July 2012 into whether Tüpraş abused its dominant position in the market through exploitative and exclusionary behavior mostly in 2008 during the peak of the financial crisis. The relation between Tüpraş and Opet is being examined as part of the case to determine whether there was an infringement of competition through sharing market, the board said.

In its defense, Tüpraş Chief Executive Officer Yavuz Erkut denied any wrongdoing in pricing policies, stressing the refinery did “everything it could not to leave the country without fuel.”

Erkut said the refinery, which has an annual processing capacity of 28.1 million tons of crude oil, only aims to procure for Turkey’s oil product needs.

Opet representative Hasan Şahin, meanwhile, said the firm had nothing to add to its written defense.
He also said Opet agreed with the investigation delegation’s judgment that said the company did not violate the Competition Law.

The board said the probe was opened over claims that Tüpraş used excessive pricing, refused to supply goods and tied the sale of one product to the sale of another one.