Industry News

Times change, real estate commission stays the same

Workshop attendees question and defend price competition in housing industry

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – Airline ticket prices have generally dropped over the years, thanks to greater price competition -- and it's no accident, said Michael A. Salinger, director of the Bureau of Economics for the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. "Prices were particularly high on long distance routes," he said, though, "We deregulated prices and eliminated restrictions on entry and prices came down dramatically." Salinger spoke Tuesday during a daylong workshop, titled, "Competition Policy and the Real Estate Industry," hosted by the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Justice Department. The workshop, which had an estimated 150 registered attendees, was held in an FTC building that is a stone's throw from the National Association of Realtors' D.C. headquarters. Federal officials have raised questions about price competition in the real estate industry for decades, and the same questions are surfacing again today. "I'm finding the world, not like Rip Van Winkel, particularly unchanged a...