BrokerageIndustry News

Antitrust lawyers expect Realtor-DOJ case to settle

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It's not surprising that the federal government sued the National Association of Realtors over alleged antitrust violations – trade groups can be a breeding ground for anticompetitive activities, and Realtors have clashed with regulators before on antitrust issues, say legal experts, adding that it won't be surprising if an agreement is reached before the lawsuit goes to trial. On Sept. 7, the U.S. Justice Department's Antitrust Division filed a lawsuit against the 1.2 million-member Realtor trade group to try to bar it from enforcing rules that antitrust officials say restrain competition. The suit specifically challenges NAR's policies related to the display of property listings on the Internet. An earlier policy adopted by the trade group enabled brokers to pick and choose which competitors could display their property listings online. While the Realtor group, in response to a Justice Department investigation over its earlier policy, enacted a new Internet listin...