Inman News is bringing together 1,500 real estate industry leaders, government and media executives during its annual Real Estate Connect San Francisco conference July 27-29, to tackle a host of controversial topics, including antitrust, copyright protection of MLS data, title insurance kickbacks and the Internet.

Known in real estate for advocating consumer rights, innovation and uncensored debate, Inman News Publisher and Connect Founder Bradley Inman has developed a conference program that promises to shed light on the industry issues everyone’s been asking the most questions about.

Topping the list is the “Antitrust: What’s the Story?” roundtable, featuring high-level officials from the Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Justice Department and consumer advocacy groups. This session was created in the wake of federal antitrust watchdogs turning an eye to the sector that’s enjoyed record growth and profits for 10 consecutive years. Never before have so many accusations of anticompetitive practices been flung on the industry, and the Connect roundtable speakers will provide more context to the recent antitrust charges reported by Inman News.

Another Connect panel discussion, “The Future of the MLS: Private, Public or What?” will crack open the highly debated issue of MLS control. Executives from both trade association-owned and private-owned multiple property listing services will join other key industry executives for a lively discussion on how the Internet has changed real estate practices.

One of real estate’s biggest topics of controversy – the Realtor commission model – will be heavily debated throughout Connect as part of “The Real Estate Challenge: Full Service Brokerages vs. Real Estate Discounters,” a series of sessions between the industry’s most vocal discount broker executives and Bernice Ross, a real estate advice columnist, coach and champion of full-service brokerages.

“As a journalist and head of a news organization, I invite open debate on the topics most relevant to everyone’s daily business,” comments Inman. “It’s about getting to the core of the issues and identifying new ways to work together for the betterment of both the industry and consumers.”

Inman’s philosophy is reflected in such panel topics as “Innovating to Success: Turning Old Models on their Heads,” “Established Companies Doing New Things” and “The Next Thing: Brand-New Ideas, Brand-New Companies” – all included in this year’s Connect program.

In addition, the conference attracts both entrepreneurs and major players from across the real estate spectrum, including this year’s co-sponsors: Bank of America, RealEstate.com, HomeGain, Real Living, Fidelity National Financial, First American Residential Group, Transaction Desk/U.S. Postal Service, the National Association of Realtors’ Center for Realtor Technology, Yahoo! Real Estate, Birdview Technologies, Stewart Title, HomesandLoans.com, UCiT, MostHome Technologies, Imprev, Google, SharperAgent, MapQuest Business Solutions, eNeighborhoods, Immobel.com, HouseValues, Voyager 360, Knight Ridder Digital, PR Newswire and the Newspaper Association of America.

In-depth conference information can be found at //www.inman.com/connectsf/. Registration can be completed at the same Web address or by calling 1-800-775-4662, ext.122.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to jessica@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 133.

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