A U.S. Department of Justice investigation prompted the Montana Board of Realty Regulation to lift restrictions that prohibited real estate licensees in the state from soliciting business through the offer of "gifts, rebates or promotional items." The Montana real estate rule was targeted by the DOJ's Antitrust Division, which has taken action against similar bans on real estate rebates in other states. "As we have consistently seen in other states, the repeal of rebate bans leads to increased competition between brokers and lower prices for consumers of real estate brokerage services," said Thomas O. Barnett, assistant attorney general in charge of the Antitrust Division, in a Tuesday statement. Most states allow real estate brokers to rebate a portion of the commission they receive to consumers to attract business, and "Montana's rule prohibited this important form of competition between real estate brokers," according to the Justice Departme...
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