Following a public comment period, the Federal Trade Commission has approved a modified final order settling charges that CoStar Group, Inc.'s $860 million acquisition of Loopnet would have been anticompetitive in the market for commercial real estate information services in the United States. The modified final order resolving the charges preserves competition that otherwise would have been lost through the acquisition by requiring the combined firm to sell LoopNet's interest in Xceligent, a significant provider of U.S. commercial real estate information.
The modified final order addresses concerns expressed in the more than 50 public comments the FTC received after approving the proposed consent agreement with the companies. Based on these comments, the FTC has proposed, and CoStar has agreed to, four modifications to the proposed consent order. The modifications, which can be found in the final order linked to this press release on the FTC's website, address concerns regarding the proposed order's clarity and the ability of the commercial real estate industry to support the competitive expansion of Xceligent.
The Commission vote approving the modified final order and letters to the members of the public who commented was 4-0-1, with Commissioner Maureen Ohlhausen not participating. (FTC File No.111-0172; the staff contact is Justin Stewart-Teitelbaum, Bureau of Competition, 202-326-3597; see press release dated April 26, 2012.)
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