West Penn Multi-List, Inc., a corporation, In the Matter of

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In the Matter of West Penn Multi-List, Inc., a corporation.
FTC Matter/File Number:

081 0167

Enforcement Type:

Part 2 Consents

Case Summary

The Commission charged that West Penn Multi-List, operator of the only MLS service for the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, unreasonablay restricted access to its MLS services, which restrained competition.  Specifically, West Penn’s MLS rules limited publication and marketing of the listing of sellers’ properties based solely on the terms of the seller’s listing contract with the real estate broker. The MLS provider limited MLS access to those brokers with a traditional full-time listing agreement with their seller, thus constraining the ability of brokers with non-traditional listing agreements to compete.  To settle the charges, West Penn agreed to a consent order which prohibits West Penn from adopting or enforcing rules that (1) require brokers to comply with the MLS form contract and submit copies of their listing contracts to the MLS, and that (2) discourage brokers and home sellers from contracting for services for terms of less than a year.