Industry News

DOJ announces proposed settlement with MLS

Federal officials allege MLS adopted anticompetitive rules

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The U.S. Department of Justice has reached an agreement with the broker-owned Multiple Listing Service of Hilton Head Island Inc. to settle charges that the MLS sought to regulate the price of brokerage services and passed rules that restricted competition. Justice Department officials announced Tuesday that the department has filed a civil antitrust lawsuit in South Carolina's U.S. District Court against the Multiple Listing Service of Hilton Head Island Inc. and has proposed a settlement to the court that would require changes to the MLS rules in order to resolve the complaint. Yvette Acuff, CEO for the MLS, said Tuesday that the MLS has reached an agreement with the Justice Department but does "not admit that there were any wrongdoings." She said she was still reviewing the Justice Department announcement Tuesday evening. About 215 brokerages and 1,800 sales agents subscribe to the MLS, Acuff said. The MLS is not affiliated with the National Association of Realtors trade group. Just...