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FTC orders MLS to publish listings

Ruling reverses dismissal of Realcomp complaint

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Realcomp II MLS, a Detroit-area multiple listing service that ultimately stood alone in challenging the government's position that MLSs are breaking the law if they refuse to transmit "exclusive agency" property listings favored by discount brokers to public Web sites, has been ordered to reverse its policy.In a unanimous 4-0 decision, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) found that Realcomp II's Web site policy and related requirements impose a "significant impediment" to consumer access to listings represented by limited-service brokers, helping protect full-service brokers' commissions from competition.Full-service real estate brokers created Realcomp's policies because they "perceived the possible expansion of limited-service brokerage, in combination with consumers' direct access to MLS listings via Internet Web sites, to pose extremely serious threats to their traditional business model," the FTC said in an opinion issued today. The policies, the FT...