A real estate technology company has finalized a settlement that ends a 4-year-old lawsuit filed against New York City’s largest real estate industry association, major brokerage companies and technology vendors.
Terms of the settlement were not disclosed.
BrokersNYC, a company that offers Web design, consulting, database and other services to real estate professionals, had charged that the Real Estate Board of New York, along with several technology vendors, brokerage companies and individuals, had worked to restrict competition in the residential real estate brokerage marketplace and to limit members’ choices in technology vendors.
REBNY had established a property data transmission system called ROLEX for its members and a database service called RealPlus, and allowed two vendors to participate in the data transmission system while shutting out BrokersNYC and others, the lawsuit alleged.
The judge had dismissed charges of attempted monopolization of the Manhattan real estate property listings technology market and also dismissed charges that brokerage companies sought to monopolize the Manhattan residential brokerage services market.
But the judge found that there was a "substantial question" as to whether REBNY’s reasons for denying an interface by BrokersNYC and other companies with REBNY’s data-transmission system "outweighed its anticompetitive effects."
Dominique Troiano, a spokeswoman for REBNY, said in a statement, "While we are happy a settlement has been reached, we do not have a formal comment or statement to release."
Lala Wang, the owner of BrokersNYC, said in a statement, "We’re happy we can move forward and provide our brokerage clients with the services they want." Wang also owns MLX.com, a search site for New York City apartments, new development condos and coops.
Wang has waged other real estate-related legal battles, filing complaints against the New York state Division of Licensing, the New York Department of State and others to challenge the state’s Apartment Information Vendor law — which restricts the ability of online sites to publish apartment information — and to seek a license to publish this content. Her real estate brokerage license had been revoked in 2000, though she has since regained her broker’s license.
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