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MLS merger blocked, for now

MLSNI and supporters seek to lift delay and approve deal

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The shareholder Realtor groups that filed a lawsuit to block the merger of two Chicago-area multiple listing services have blocked -- at least temporarily -- a final vote on the deal. Five local Realtor associations that represent half of the shareholders for the Multiple Listing Service of Northern Illinois, a large Chicago-area MLS, filed a lawsuit last year that challenged the legitimacy of a board vote approving the consolidation of MLSNI with rival broker-owned MAP MLS. Five shareholder representatives who were present at that meeting voted 3-1 in favor of the MLSNI-MAP deal, with one representative abstaining. The dissenting shareholders charged that the vote was not official because they did not attend the meeting and there was not a sufficient number of shareholders in attendance to constitute a quorum. Members of opposing shareholder groups have questioned the economic benefits of the proposed MLS merger, as MLSNI already has substantial market share in the region ...