Quick review of Realcomp MLS Case:
An MLS creates rules that hide discounter/innovator brokers' listings,
the US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) investigates,
the MLS (called Realcomp) refuses to change rule,
the FTC sues the MLS for restraint of competition,
the MLS gets NAR funding to fight the FTC,
the Case is tried in Washington, DC, Albert Hepp testifies as a flat fee MLS Broker, then
the MLS wins the FTC case.
Then, the FTC appeals,
the FTC wins the appeal in a unanimous 4-0 ruling,
the MLS/NAR appeals to the US Court of Appeals (6th District),
the FTC wins again today as the Appellate Court upholds the appeal.
My summary of the verdict: "Thou shall not hide listings."
The consumer wins. Yeah!
Right from the opinion:
Under a full rule-of-reason analysis, we conclude that substantial evidence supports the Commission’s findings that: 1) Realcomp’s website policy gave rise to potential genuine adverse effects on competition due to Realcomp’s substantial market power and the website policy’s anticompetitive nature; 2) the website policy in fact caused actual anticompetitive effects; and 3) Realcomp’s proffered procompetitive justifications were insufficient to overcome a prima facie case of adverse impact. These findings establish that Realcomp’s website policy unreasonably restrained competition in the market for the provision of residential real-estate-brokerage services in southeastern Michigan and the Realcomp MLS area. Therefore, we DENY Realcomp’s petition for review. [We added the bold]
Log in and search Realcomp for a more detailed history of this case and Albert Hepp's involvement in the case.
More to come...