Industry News

U.S. Justice Dept. still on Realtor antitrust case

Brokers, MLSs nationwide discuss online listings display

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The U.S. Justice Department's antitrust division is still investigating a National Association of Realtors' policy that dictates how brokers can display one another's home listings on the Web. A department spokesperson this week confirmed the probe, but wouldn't say how much longer it is expected to continue. NAR has set a July 1 deadline for MLSs to comply with the virtual office Web sites policy it adopted last May. But many MLSs are waiting for news on the DOJ investigation before they fully implement the NAR rules. NAR General Counsel Laurie Janik said Justice Department officials told her they were "mindful" of the July 1 implementation date. The DOJ's investigation has focused on a provision of NAR's policy that permits brokers to opt out listings from other brokers' VOWs on a blanket or selective basis, according to Janik. The DOJ also has been interested in a provision that restricts the use of names and contact information collected through a VOW in connection with referrals...