BrokerageIndustry News

FTC targets real estate for alleged unfair practices

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The U.S. Federal Trade Commission today announced litigation against two multiple listing services and settlements with five other MLSs based on policies restricting a classification of property listings. The five consent agreements resolve separate investigations against the MLSs over similar policies that prohibited the display of certain property listings on some home-search Web sites, and the litigation targets two MLSs in Michigan that have refused to withdraw similar policies. Several other MLSs are also under investigation for similar policies, said Jeffrey Schmidt, director of the FTC's Bureau of Competition. But he did not provide specifics about how many investigations are pending, and whether the FTC would take actions against those MLSs. Today's announcement marks the latest in a series of FTC and U.S. Justice Department actions against alleged anti-competitive practices in the real estate industry. The agencies have also opposed state measures that seek to establish a ra...