Canada’s highest court staying out of legal battle over Toronto VOW rules

The battle over restrictions imposed by the Toronto Real Estate Board on the display of sold and pending listings by “virtual office websites” continues, after Canada’s highest court declined to get involved this week.

Canada’s Competition Bureau sued TREB in 2011, saying the restrictions thwart competition that might save consumers hundreds of millions of dollars in commissions. TREB maintains that the restrictions are intended to protect consumers’ privacy rights.

When Canada’s Competition Tribunal dismissed the case in April 2013, the Competition Bureau appealed the ruling. In February, a federal appeals court sent the case back to the tribunal, saying its interpretation of the case was too narrow.

That hasn’t happened yet, because TREB asked Canada’s Supreme Court to review the case. The court denied the request Thursday, The Globe and Mail’s Tara Perkins reports.

In a statement provided to the newspaper, TREB vowed to “continue to work to protect the personal information entrusted to it and its members by the general public, while it strives always to do what it can to ensure a highly competitive environment for real estate professionals” in the Greater Toronto market.

TREB serves more than 39,000 licensed real estate brokers and salespersons, and the legal battle could also have repurcussions for other Canadaian real estate boards. Source: theglobeandmail.com.


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