The Law Regarding the Amendment to the Law on Regulation of Electronic Commerce was published in the Official Gazette
The Law numbered 7416 Regarding the Amendment to the Law on Regulation of Electronic Commerce (“Law No. 7416”) was published in the Official Gazette dated 07.07.2022 and numbered 31889.
The Law No. 7416 defines the concepts of “electronic commerce intermediary service provider”, “electronic commerce service provider”, “electronic commerce environment”, “electronic commerce marketplace”, “electronic commerce information system”, “net transaction volume” and “economic integrity”.
The most fundamental concepts are defined as below:
- Electronic commerce intermediary service provider (“intermediary service provider”) is an intermediary service provider that enables electronic commerce service providers to make contracts or place orders for the supply of goods or services in the electronic commerce marketplace.
- Electronic commerce service provider (“service provider”) is a service provider that concludes contracts or takes orders for the supply of goods or services in the electronic commerce marketplace or in its own electronic commerce environment.
- Electronic commerce environment is a platform where electronic commerce activities are carried out, such as a website, mobile site or mobile application.
- Electronic commerce marketplace is an electronic commerce environment where intermediary services are provided.
Pursuant to the article regarding illegal content, the intermediary service provider is not liable for any unlawfulness related to the content provided by the service provider and the goods or services subject to the content. However, if the intermediary service provider becomes aware of the illegality in question, it must immediately remove the content from publication and notify public institutions and organizations. The same article regulates the complaint and removal procedure to be followed in case the content violates intellectual and industrial property rights.
The Law No. 7416 stipulates obligations for intermediary service providers and service providers.
(i) In accordance with The Law No. 7416, there are obligations which all of intermediary service providers are subject to. In addition to these;
- additional obligations for those whose net transaction volume in a calendar year is over ten billion Turkish liras,
- additional obligations for those whose net transaction volume in a calendar year is over thirty billion Turkish liras and the number of transactions excluding cancelations and returns is over one hundred thousand,
- additional obligations for those whose net transaction volume in a calendar year is over sixty billion Turkish liras and the number of transactions, excluding cancellations and returns, exceeds one hundred thousand.
(ii) The Law No. 7416 does not regulate the obligations of service providers separately, and the obligations applicable to intermediary service providers are applied to them by analogy. In this context, the above-mentioned grouping is applicable also to the service providers.
The Law No. 7416 introduces the obligation to obtain an electronic commerce license as one of the most important obligations. Within the scope of the said obligation, the intermediary service provider, whose net transaction volume in a calendar year exceeds ten billion Turkish Liras and whose number of transactions, excluding cancellations and returns, is over one hundred thousand, is obliged to obtain a license from the Ministry of Trade and renew its license in order to continue its activities.
In case of breach of the aforementioned obligations, pro rata fines, most of which are determined based on the net sales amount prior to the calendar year in which the breach occurred, and fixed fines in varying amounts, not less than ten thousand Turkish liras and not more than twenty million Turkish liras, shall be imposed.
- The Law No. 7416 also defines the concept of “unfair commercial practice”. Accordingly, the following conduct of the intermediary service provider are considered unfair commercial practice:
- Significantly disruption of the commercial activities of the service provider,
- Reduction of the ability to make a reasonable decision or
- Practices that force a party to a commercial relationship to which it would not normally be a party by forcing it to take a certain decision.
The same article lists examples that will constitute unfair commercial practice in any case.
The provisions of The Law No. 7416 shall enter into force on 1 January 2023, except for the provisions of Additional Article 2/2(b) and Additional Article 2/10 which shall enter into force on 1 January 2024 and the provisions regarding the obligation to obtain a license under Additional Article 3 and Additional Article 4 which shall enter into force on 1 January 2025.
You may access the full Turkish text of Law numbered 7416 here (Turkish).
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