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Zillow, National Association of Realtors face private antitrust lawsuit

Stock Markets (Mar 09, 2021 11:50AM ET) Zillow, National Association of Realtors face private antitrust lawsuit

© Reuters.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Zillow Group (NASDAQ:ZG) Inc faces an antitrust lawsuit filed on Tuesday that accuses it and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) of anti-competitive behavior connected to the listing for sale of homes on Zillow’s website, according to a court filing.

An agreement between Zillow and the NAR resulted in Zillow making it harder for buyers to find homes for sale that are not associated with the NAR and Multiple Listing Services, according to the lawsuit, which was brought by Real Estate Exchange Inc, or REX.

Multiple Listing Services are databases of properties for sale in given regions used by members of the NAR and other realty professionals.

Zillow said that it intended to “vigorously defend” itself against the lawsuit. “(We) believe the claims are without merit,” a Zillow spokesperson said.

The NAR did not immediately responded to a request for comment.

The lawsuit said that REX had successfully shown homes on Zillow’s website until shortly after the online company struck the deal with the NAR last year to join the organization.

Zillow also said that it would use MLS data feeds for its website but gave no details, the lawsuit said.

“Without any significant warning, Zillow unveiled its newly designed web display in mid-January 2021. The new web display creates a separate page, concealed behind the primary results, where REX homes are now funneled,” the lawsuit said.

Zillow website users are shown MLS listings as a default while REX homes are behind an “other listings” tab, the lawsuit said.

The change in the website has meant that REX homes are getting many fewer viewings on Zillow, with fewer resulting sales, the lawsuit said.

REX asked the court to order Zillow to stop categorizing REX homes under “other listings,” and to pay damages and attorney fees.Zillow, National Association of Realtors face private antitrust lawsuit Add a Comment

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