Multiple Listing Service, Inc., In the Matter of

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In the Matter of Multiple Listing Service, Inc.
FTC Matter/File Number:

061 0090

Enforcement Type:

Part 2 Consents

Case Summary

Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (MLS), a group of real estate professionals based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, settled charges that its rules unreasonably restrained competition among real estate brokers in Milwaukee.  The complaint alleges that MLS acted anticompetitively by adopting rules and policies that limit the publication and marketing of certain sellers’ properties, but not others, based solely on the terms of their respective listing contracts. The Commission alleged that the rules were collusive and exclusionary and served to withhold valuable benefits of the MLS from brokers who did not use traditional listing contracts with their customers.  Under the terms of the December 2007 consent, MLS is barred from adopting or enforcing any rule that treats one type of real estate listing agreement more advantageously than any other, and from interfering with the ability of its members to enter into any kind of lawful listing agreement with home sellers.