Appeals Court Greenlights DOJ Antitrust Investigation of Realtors

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia on Friday (April 5, 2024) lifted restrictions imposed by a lower court that had prevented the Justice Department from investigating potentially anticompetitive conduct by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).  According to the DOJ, the decision confirms that it retains the authority to investigate NAR’s Participation Rule and Clear Cooperation Policy to protect competition for the benefit of homebuyers.  “Real-estate commissions in the United States greatly exceed those in any other developed economy, and this decision restores the Antitrust Division’s ability to investigate potentially unlawful conduct by NAR that may be contributing to this problem,” said Assistant Attorney General Jonathan Kanter of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. The DOJ Antitrust Division has filed several amicus briefs and statements of interest supporting competition in the real-estate industry, including: Top Agent v. NAR, No. 21-16494, 9th Cir. and Nosalek v. MLS Property, No. 1:20-cv-12244-PBS, D. Mass.

For other examples — and commentary from MoginRubin’s Jonathan Rubin on the use of algorithmic price-setting in this and other industries — read Algorithmic Price-Setting by Multiple Competitors is a U.S. Antitrust Enforcement Priority. 

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