A South Carolina multiple listing service has reached a proposed settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice over a lawsuit filed last year alleging anticompetitive practices. The federal government, in its May 2, 2008, complaint, had charged that Consolidated Multiple Listing Service Inc. -- a broker-operated MLS based in Columbia, S.C. -- had sought to restrict competition in adopting rules and practices that made it "unnecessarily costly and inconvenient for brokers without an established presence in the Columbia area." "Today's settlement will remove unlawful impediments to competition for real estate brokerage services in the Columbia area and will lead to more choices and lower brokerage fees for South Carolina consumers," said Christine A. Varney, assistant attorney general in charge of the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, in a statement. Edward M. Woodward Jr., a lawyer representing Consolidated MLS, said today, "We think we did ...
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