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Zillow gives up most brokerage licenses

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Property valuation and listings portal Zillow is relinquishing its real estate brokerage licenses in all but two U.S. states -- a cost-cutting move the company also expects will put an end to occasional rumors that Zillow planned to get into the business of brokering home sales. Zillow has always maintained that it obtained brokerage licenses in most U.S. states when the company launched in 2006 not because it intended to broker property transactions, but as a legal precaution to protect its ability to publish real estate-related information. Now that Zillow's business model is established and accepted, the company believes it no longer needs to maintain its brokerage licenses, and is severing relationships with brokers it had contracted with in order to obtain the licenses, said company spokeswoman Amy Bohutinsky. "This should put to rest any rumors or any thought that Zillow plans to get into the brokerage business," Bohutinsky said. "We are a media compa...