Industry News

U.S. antitrust law up for debate

Possible changes to 'state action doctrine' could impact real estate measures

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While the largest national real estate trade group mounts its defense against an antitrust lawsuit brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, a commission created by Congress is evaluating whether federal antitrust laws require remodeling. The Antitrust Modernization Commission, formed in April 2004, is tasked to study "whether the need exists to modernize U.S. federal antitrust laws," and to seek input and prepare a report to Congress and the president that includes findings, conclusions and "recommendations for legislative or administrative action." The real estate industry is no stranger to antitrust complaints, and some industry participants have watched the Antitrust Modernization Commission's progress. The commission's focus is not industry-specific, though some topics that the commission is considering have relevance to the real estate industry. For example, the commission has hosted discussions on the topic of the "state action doctrine" provision of federal law, which extend...