Compass and Zillow both confirmed to Inman Wednesday that the companies have reached an agreement that will result in the dismissal of two lawsuits the Seattle-based tech company filed against the New York City-founded brokerage in April.
Sources from both companies told Inman they were pleased with the outcome of the agreement.
“Compass and Zillow share common goals, to improve the real estate industry for consumers and agents,” a spokesperson for Compass said in a statement. “The two companies have agreed to resolve their differences and look forward to working together to help the entire real estate ecosystem.”
A Zillow source told Inman the company achieved its desired result but declined to reveal the terms of the agreement.
“We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Compass that allows Zillow Group to continue our work streamlining real estate transactions for consumers in a fair, competitive environment,” a spokesperson for Zillow said in a statement.
The two lawsuits, filed in Washington state and in federal court, respectively, centered around three former employees who left Zillow for Compass, after the latter opened a technology and engineering hub in Zillow’s home city of Seattle.
In the lawsuits, Zillow argued that Compass lured away three employees who signed contracts with non-disclosure and non-compete clauses. The lawsuits specifically alleged that Compass wanted the employees to get access to Zillow’s trade secrets and Compass made a habit of “unlawful poaching” of employees.
The federal lawsuit revolved around Robert Chen, who worked on machine learning at Zillow from December 2016 to March 2019, according to his LinkedIn page. The suit says Chen took screenshots of “proprietary wireframes and a proposed regional launch timeline related to certain Zillow services.” Zillow ultimately argues in the lawsuit that Chen “misappropriated” these trade secrets “for the benefit of Compass.”
The suit filed in Washington alleged that Compass induced two Zillow employees, identified as Michael Hania and Chester Millisock, “to breach their employment agreements with Zillow to work for Compass, in order to obtain confidential and/or proprietary Zillow information from them.”
Coincidentally, the agreement comes on the same day Realogy, the nation’s largest real estate holding company, announced it was suing Compass over “unfair business practices and illegal schemes to gain market share at all costs.”
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