BrokerageIndustry News

Realtor groups score win in antitrust suit

Judge rules association's 'tying' requirement is not anticompetitive; attorney plans appeal

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A local Realtor association in Kentucky is not violating federal antitrust law by requiring Realtor membership as a condition to participation in its local multiple listing service, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Kentucky has ruled in a case brought against the association by a broker member. Participants in the Northern Kentucky MLS -- which is a wholly owned subsidiary of the Northern Kentucky Realtor Association -- are required to be members of the National Association of Realtors, and members of this national association are also members of state and local Realtor associations. U.S. District Court Judge William O. Bertelsman ruled that the plaintiff Sherry Edwards, a real estate broker with Buyer's Corner Realty, failed to explain how she had been harmed by this tying of Realtor membership with MLS participation. While Edwards may not have wanted to purchase a membership in the Realtor association to participate in the local MLS, which contains information abo...