Federal Trade Commission Chairman Jon Leibowitz issued the following statement regarding this week’s ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit upholding the FTC’s order in the RealComp matter.
In November 2009, the FTC issued an opinion finding that RealComp II, a Michigan-based realtors’ group, violated federal law by restricting the ability of member real estate agents to offer consumers lower-priced alternatives to traditional real estate services. Realcomp refused to transmit discount real estate listings to its own and other publicly available websites and excluded such listings from the default searches within its own database. The FTC found that these policies restricted access to these listings and harmed competition. The Circuit Court ruling upholds the FTC order.
“The U.S. Court of Appeals decision, affirming the Commission’s opinion, ensures that home buyers will receive the benefits of competition in making one of the most financially significant decisions of their lives. Eliminating restrictions on discount listings published over the Internet will force real estate brokers to compete on the costs and quality of their services, which is good competition policy and good for consumers.”
(FTC Docket No. 9320)