Industry News

Justice Dept. amends antitrust lawsuit against NAR

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The U.S. Justice Department today amended the complaint in its antitrust lawsuit against the National Association of Realtors, charging that the group's modified online property listings policy prevents Internet-based real estate brokers from offering lower costs to consumers. The antitrust lawsuit was first filed on Sept. 8, and alleges that the trade group's policies limit competition from Internet brokers and threaten to inflate prices in the industry. The same day the Justice Department filed the lawsuit last month, the Realtor trade group made public a new online listings policy to address the department's concerns stemming from a two-year probe of NAR's previous listings display rule. The old policy, dubbed the Virtual office Web site or VOW policy, allowed real estate brokers to selectively hold their listings from competitor's Web sites, a move that DOJ officials have said threatens competition in the marketplace. NAR's new policy no longer allows brokers to pick and choose ...