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April 2, 2018

Good news on the Antitrust Scene

Good news on the Antitrust Scene

A Federal District Court in Eastern Michigan granted a Motion To Dismiss an Antitrust lawsuit brought by an attorney against Realcomp, a regional Multiple Listing Service (MLS) controlled by eight defendant REALTOR Associations. The Court in Findling v. Realcomp II, Ltd ruled there’s nothing anti-competitive about a REALTOR® association-owned MLS requiring association membership as a condition of MLS access.

In its decision, the Court held that "The MLS is nothing more than an information-aggregating advertising platform. Generally, the more informed a consumer base is, the more likely it is that it will channel its scarce resources to the most attractive, competitively priced product. In other words, data and choices breed competition. This is precisely what the MLS does by providing customers with aggregated, streamlined information.

“This decision upholds the notion that it’s reasonable to limit MLS participation to members of the association that own and operate the MLS,” Holmen says. “It’s a membership benefit, and it’s OK to require membership to enjoy that membership benefit.”

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