FTC may approve Zillow-Trulia deal sooner than expected

Regulators expected to sign off on merger of real estate's biggest search portals

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The Federal Trade Commission is likely to sign off on Zillow's proposed acquisition of Trulia and could grant early termination and close its review of the deal sooner than expected. The FTC "is likely to say there’s not a problem," Notre Dame law professor and antitrust expert Joseph P. Bauer said. If there are concerns about the impacts of mergers on competition, the FTC usually proposes measures for the two companies to abide by before they would consider blocking it. Bauer cited CoreLogic’s 2014 acquisition of DataQuick Information Systems Inc., which put foreclosure data aggregator RealtyTrac in the tax, deed and mortgage data licensing business. CoreLogic agreed to license national assessor and recorder bulk data to RealtyTrac to settle an FTC complaint that the $661 million deal was likely to result in less competition. Zillow and Trulia execs have said they expect the merger, announced in July and approved by shareholders on Dec. 18, to go through in the first hal...