Zillow agrees to push back Trulia closing another 2 weeks

FTC still reviewing information submitted in October

Real estate search giant Zillow has agreed to push back its proposed merger of Trulia by another two weeks at the request of the Federal Trade Commission.

The amended timing agreement, disclosed by Zillow and Trulia in regulatory filings, stipulates that the merger will not close before 11:59 p.m. Eastern time on Feb. 15, unless the FTC closes its investigation before then.

Zillow and Trulia execs say they expect the merger, announced in July and approved by shareholders on Dec. 18, to go through in the first half of 2015.

The FTC, which is responsible for evaluating the impacts of such deals on the competitive landscape, made second requests for information from the companies in early September.

Zillow and Trulia each submitted their responses to the FTC’s second requests for information on Oct. 15, and had agreed to give the FTC 60 days to review that information before closing the deal. On Nov. 10, Zillow agreed to give the FTC more time to complete its review, and not close the deal before Feb. 1.

If the deal goes through, Zillow has said it plans to continue to operate Trulia as a separate brand, but sell advertising to agents across a network of sites including Yahoo Homes, AOL Real Estate, HGTV’s FrontDoor, HotPads and MSN Real Estate.

The National Association of Realtors has reportedly sought to block the deal on antitrust grounds. NAR’s official search portal, realtor.com, once the most popular real estate search portal, now ranks behind Zillow and Trulia. But News Corp.’s acquisition of realtor.com operators Move Inc. in November could boost the site’s fortunes.