Tuesday, December 5, 2006

In the Matter of REALCOMP II, LTD.

Several months ago the Federal Trade Commission made an example of the Austin Board of Realtors' rules impeding the flow of listings from the local MLS to realtor.com. Subsequently the FTC followed up with actions in several other markets. My understanding is that all of the subject boards but one - REALCOMP II, LTD. (located in Michigan) - agreed to settle on the FTC's terms. Realcomp, however, apparently wants its day in court. Well it can now mark its calendar.

In a Scheduling Order released on Monday in FTC Docket No. 9320, a hearing before an administrative law judge is set to commence on June 19, 2007 at 10 a.m. at the FTC Building in Washington D.C. That is, unless the parties reach some sort of settlement beforehand.

Update (12/8/06): If NAR is indeed supporting the defense of this suit, the first paragraph of NAR's Nov. 17, 2006 press release relating to feeds to realtor.com confuses me even more.


  1. Let's hope they DON'T settle - The feds have a good case, and a clear court decision will help put an end to any other similar practices in other areas that much sooner.

  2. I am not sure Realcomp will want to settle, as I saw this posting on their website:

    Realcomp is affiliated with the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR) and is in the position of being supported by the NAR through their E&O insurance, which is expected to cover all associated costs regarding the litigation.

    So the NAR is going to pay the bills for a Realtors/MLSs "right" to hide listings of Innovators and Discount Brokers. I guess the NAR doesn't like competition and is willing to pay to fight. What a waste.