Canadian MLS rules challenged

Regulators press legal case despite rule changes

Canadian regulators say rules that govern the use of multiple listing services still limit competition from flat-fee service providers, despite changes to the rules approved this month by the Canadian Real Estate Association.

The Competition Bureau of Canada says it will continue its challenge of the rules before the Competition Tribunal, a quasi-judicial body that decides disputes over issues ranging from mergers to restrictive trade practices.

In a complaint filed Feb. 8, Canadian Commissioner of Competition Melanie Aitken said Canadian brokers are "expressly prohibited by (CREA’s) MLS restrictions" from providing MLS-only listing services.