The Antitrust Lawsuit
American online real estate marketplace company, Zillow, was charged with an antitrust lawsuit due to allegations that it hides real estate listings on its platform,
Real Estate Exchange, Inc. (REX) filed the antitrust lawsuit against Zillow and its subsidiary, Trulia, in a Washington federal court in March 2021.
REX alleges that Zillow favored some agents and hid some of their listings on their platform.
According to REX, the defendants have prevented them from entering the online real estate market by hiding their listings.
REX also asserts that Zillow favors real estate agents who are members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
They add that the unfair treatment has caused non-NAR agents to lose income.
The antitrust lawsuit seeks to require both Zillow and Trulia to implement changes on their website and show non-NAR listings.
It also seeks to gain compensation from damages that the companies have cost.
REX Business Model
REX is a real estate company that was created in 2015.
The antitrust lawsuit states that the company aims to change the current home buying process by allowing consumers to purchase homes with lower commission rates.
It aids that their goal is to make real estate accessible for all.
The complainant declares that NAR and Multiple Listing Services (MLS) controls the current real estate market.
The two organizations allegedly monopolize all home real estate information.
In response to this, REX claims that they allow consumers to have direct access to real estate information, which provides customers with lower charges and commission fees.
The antitrust lawsuit gives an example of how REX’s business model can provide lower costs for consumers.
In the sample they have provided, a customer can save up to $16,000 when buying $720,000 worth of property in King County.
REX contends that even if their services can be beneficial to consumers, Zillow and Trulia still hid their and other non-NAR listings in their platforms.
They add that the companies’ decision to champion NAR members took the customers’ opportunity to save money.
REX filed the antitrust lawsuit arguing that Zillow’s unlawful treatment to hide listings from their non-NAR realtors violates the antitrust law.
The changes in Zillow and Trulia’s websites allegedly obscured all listings from non-NAR realtors to not be visible from the online market.
They add that this prevents consumers from having additional options to purchase homes with lower commissions.
The lawsuit also complains that this violates the antitrust law since NAR members are guaranteed to have higher commissions from non-NAR members.
REX contends that Zillow and Trulia’s decision to implement the changes in their platforms occurred when they became NAR and MLS members.
Viet Shelton, Zillow’s spokesperson, released a statement on behalf of the company.
The company declared that they implemented the changes in January 2021 when they joined NAR and MLS to comply with MLS’s existing rules and regulations.
The company adds that they will execute changes that will allow them to show all types of listings in the future.
Editor’s Note on Zillow Antitrust Lawsuit 2021 :
This article is published to inform you of the latest antitrust lawsuit charged against Zillow for allegedly hiding listings on their platform.
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