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DOJ blasts another real estate rule on anticompetitive charges

New Mexico considers changes to establish minimum services

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New Mexico is pursuing policies that could choke consumer choice and competition in real estate services, the U.S. Justice Department charges in a letter to the New Mexico Real Estate Commission. J. Bruce McDonald, deputy assistant attorney general for the Justice Department's Antitrust Division, states in a Wednesday letter to members of the New Mexico state Real Estate Commission that the commission should reject proposed amendments to the state's real estate regulations. The Justice Department, acting alone or in collaboration with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, this year has written other letters opposing similar measures proposed in other states. These measures, which typically are backed by state-level Realtor trade groups, specify a range of services that all real estate professionals must provide to consumers -- whether or not consumers request such services. The proposed rules "are likely to reduce consumer choice, increase real estate services prices and undercut incent...