In the Matter of CoreLogic, Inc., a corporation, File No. 131 0199 #00034

Submission Number:
00034
Commenter:
John Hardesty
State:
Virginia
Initiative Name:
In the Matter of CoreLogic, Inc., a corporation, File No. 131 0199
The FTC allowed CoreLogic to acquire DataQuick in 2014. This purchase was based on an agreement that outlined specific parameters and obligations with which CoreLogic agreed to comply. However, over the past 3-4 years, CoreLogic has failed to adhere with numerous criteria through omission and commission. The market competition, RealtyTrac, was not provided with the agreed data and did not receive the agreed support from CoreLogic. The FTC has proposed an, "if first you do not succeed" approach and wants to extend the time frame another three years, and has drafted more requirements that CoreLogic will no doubt fail to deliver on. Since the industrial revolution in this county, market competition has always been a very relevant issue in various industries. In the current information age, this includes technology giants like CoreLogic. It is difficult to complete an appraisal in Virginia, and many other States, without depending on data provided by a company owned by CoreLogic. Like most sharks, big tech companies only survive by continuing to move forward, feeding on, acquiring, or eliminating the market competition. This fact is illustrated by the myriad acquisitions completed by CoreLogic in recent years, including MATRIX MLS, REALIST TAX, ACI SOFTWARE, APPRAISAL PORT (FNC),APPRAISAL SCOPE, MERCURY NETWORK, MARSHALL & SWIFT, FLOODCERT.COM, LSAM, RELS-(NOW CORELOGIC WITH STAFF APPRAISERS-and they are hiring), COLUMBIA INSTITUTE, AND, DATA COURIER. It appears that CoreLogic is in the process of securing the company as the predominant provider of real estate related information for the industry. They now own two of the largest appraisal software providers, their appraisal delivery portals, the data used to complete the appraisal, flood maps, building cost data, and continuing education providers. As a user of many of their services, I can attest that much of it is not correct and needs to be cross-verified through other data sources for accuracy. Competition keeps markets and industries healthy. Look at the impact Amazon has, and is, having on brick and mortar stores. It is during these transitional periods in history that the public and citizenry depend on the government agencies to understand the relevant issues and to properly regulate corporations to provide a level playing field to the ultimate consumer. If CoreLogic blatantly disregarded the guidelines and parameters outlined in the original acquisition agreement, what makes the FTC, and other relevant agencies, believe it will not do the same over the extended three year period? Too big to fail comes to mind. Too big to adequately regulate? Trust is earned. The penalties for failing to comply with any new guidelines should be well-outlined and punitive, so that if CoreLogic continues it "bad behavior" it has a high price to pay. If not, then what is the deterrent? Wells Fargo made about ten billion dollars illegally screwing its very clients in myriad ways, yet it now faces a $1 billion fine. These types of actions will not truly stop until the fines (and prison terms) to be paid are higher than the proceeds of the illegal and unethical actions. I appreciate the opportunity to address this serious matter and thank the FTC for their time and diligent consideration.