BrokerageIndustry News

Realtor track record on antitrust

Industry fights anticompetitive allegations

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When word got out last week that the U.S. Justice Department filed an antitrust lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors over its new policy for online property listings, the powerful trade group was quick to respond. "We believe the new (Internet Listings Display) policy is fair, pro-consumer, pro-competitive and accommodates innovation," NAR announced in a written statement. The trade group cooperated with the DOJ's two-year investigation leading up to the lawsuit and had been negotiating with the agency for months to come up with a policy that would lift the DOJ's antitrust concerns. The DOJ complaint accuses NAR of mandating a policy that obstructs real estate brokers who use innovative Web-based systems to offer lower costs to consumers. Realtors have an extensive record of defending charges of price-fixing, restraint of trade and other unfair business practices. Since 1950, the National Association of Realtors and its state and local affiliates have chall...