BrokerageIndustry News

DOJ, MLS seek quick judgment in antitrust suit

Feds say rules block competition, MLS says charges don't apply

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The federal government and a broker-operated multiple listing service in Columbia, S.C., on Tuesday filed motions seeking a pre-trial judgment to resolve an antitrust lawsuit filed in May 2008 (see Inman News). The U.S. Justice Department claims, in its motion for summary judgment filed Tuesday, that Consolidated Multiple Listing Service Inc. has "employed a variety of methods ... to restrict entry by and competition from undesired innovative competitors." DOJ officials also claim in their legal motion that CMLS "adopted a series of rules and practices that make joining and participating in CMLS unnecessarily costly and inconvenient for brokers without an established presence in the Columbia area." But CMLS, in its own motion for summary judgment, claims a "complete defense" to the federal government's antitrust charges, citing a legal protection known as the "intra-corporate immunity doctrine" or "intra-corporate conspiracy doctrin...