The Justice Department [DOJ] is suing the National Association of Realtors. [Reuters]

The NAR created a bylaw in 2003 that allowed members to opt out of sharing their listings with online real estate brokerage firms. The DOJ wants the rule struck down because it discourages competition and hurts the consumer. The NAR had been negotiating with the DOJ and had modified the rule but not to DOJ’s satisfaction.[Valuation Review: Paid Subscription]

DOJ states that the original rule:

prevents consumers from receiving the full benefits of competition and threatens to lock in outmoded business models and discourage discounting

and the revised rule still:

discriminated against “brokers who use the Internet to more efficiently and cost-effectively serve home sellers and buyers.”

Besides going after NAR for limiting competition, the DOJ seems to go after the broker business model, saying the rule was forcing the use of a dated business model.

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One Response to “DOJ Sues: NAR Must Let Everyone Join The Party”

  1. John Philip Mason says:

    And if you are interested in NAR’s viewpoint, check out this link http://www.realtor.org/RMODaily.nsf/All/077477F8D?OpenDocument&key=Auto&WT.mc_n=RMOWeeklyNewsEmail09092005&WT.mc_t=RMOWeeklyNews&topic=DOJ%20Sues%20NAR%20Over%20Wrong%20MLS%20Listings%20Policy%20&e=johnmason@optonline.net If you don’t have time, I’ve selected two (of the 10+/-) paragraphs from the text of the article, which is as follows:

    The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS® says the U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against NAR over an MLS listings policy that no longer exists, according to a statement NAR released today. The DOJ filed a lawsuit on Thursday, a day after the association announced a new policy governing the display of MLS listings on the Internet.

    “The new policy results in part from the discussions NAR held with the Justice Department over the past four months,” says Laurie Janik, NAR’s chief counsel. “We listened to what they had to say and they helped us to come up with a significantly better policy. We’re shocked and disappointed that after all these discussions, they would sue us over a policy that no longer exists. We would like to encourage them to revisit their decision.” Janik reiterated her confidence in NAR’s legal position.