Industry News

David Barry takes on real estate antitrust

Part 2: Real estate and antitrust: not a pretty picture

Learn the New Luxury Playbook at Luxury Connect | October 18-19 at the Beverly Hills Hotel

Editor's note: In this three-part series we examine the real estate record on antitrust. Since realty professionals 24 years ago became subject to federal antitrust law, dozens of lawsuits and regulatory actions have been taken. Learn what some of those cases are, who's behind them and how the industry has reacted. (See Part 1: Once free of the Sherman Act, it haunts business today and Part 3: NAR perspective on antitrust.) In the 1970s, Eugene Palsson, a flight engineer and a licensed real estate agent, asked to join the Marin County Board of Realtors in California. His membership – and access to the board's multiple listing service – was denied. The board had a bylaw in place that required board members to be primarily employed in the real estate business. And, according to a board rule, MLS access was provided exclusively to board members. The real estate agent contested the decision, and the board filed a lawsuit. The California Supreme Court ruled in this 1976 c...