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Fight over Toronto VOWs has national repercussions

Canadian Real Estate Association joins battle over listings restrictions

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A dispute between Canadian regulators and the Toronto Real Estate Board over the right of TREB's member brokers to operate Virtual Office Websites (VOWs) could have broader implications for the Internet distribution of property listings data throughout Canada. That's according to the Canadian Real Estate Association, which has been granted limited standing to participate in an administrative proceeding initiated against TREB by Canada's Competition Bureau. CREA -- Canada's equivalent of the National Association of Realtors -- maintains that an order the Competition Bureau is seeking against TREB is "broad and imprecise," and that the outcome of the dispute could affect other means of distributing listings over the Internet with "national implications for the real estate industry."Any finding made or order issued by the administrative court hearing the case "will directly affect the ability and manner in which CREA's members across Canada can and will provide se...