Industry News

Realtors defend Internet property listings policy

Federal antitrust actions threaten viability of MLS, NAR official says

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SAN FRANCISCO -- The National Association of Realtors has no plans to back down in a legal battle with the federal government over its policies for property listings on the Internet, saying the viability of the nation's multiple listing services is at stake. The powerful trade group in early December will file its response to a civil antitrust lawsuit brought by the U.S. Justice Department, according to NAR's General Council Laurie Janik, who spoke this morning during the association's annual convention and tradeshow in San Francisco. "We will be filing a motion to dismiss," Janik said. The Justice Department then has 30 days to respond, she added. The Justice Department filed suit in September after a two-year investigation of NAR's online listings display policy, which enables real estate brokers to withhold their property listings from other broker's Web sites. Federal antitrust officials claim the policy restricts competition from Internet brokers and harms consumers, and are...