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Flat-fee companies revel in real estate ruling

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With a federal court ruling in its favor, likely will pursue a more aggressive marketing strategy in California, according to Colby Sambrotto, chief operating officer for the company. A federal judge ruled Nov. 19 in a U.S. District Court in Sacramento, Calif., that the state of California violated First Amendment rights in requiring Web sites to obtain a real estate broker's license in order to display property listings. The state in 2001 began to enforce a 1950s law that exempted newspapers from obtaining a license to show real estate listings while requiring other companies to obtain a license. The state has 30 days to consider whether it will appeal the decision. filed the lawsuit in 2003 charging that the state law was unjust. Sambrotto said this week that he doesn't expect the ruling to have an immediate impact on his company's business. "The only impact it will have on us will be a little bit longer term. We will start to enact some larger...