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JD and NAR settle


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Fresh from the NYT. The evil empire takes it in the shins, and online brokerages just got the break they needed (I hope)....

Realtors Agree to Stop Blocking Web Listings

By ERIC LICHTBLAU

Published: May 28, 2008

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department and the National Association of Realtors reached a major antitrust settlement Tuesday that government officials said should spur competition among brokers and ultimately bring down hefty sales commissions.

The deal frees Internet brokers and other real-estate agents offering heavily discounted commissions to operate on a level playing field with traditional brokers by using the multiple listing services that are the lifeblood of the industry, government officials said.

The Justice Department sued the National Association of Realtors in federal court in 2005 on antitrust grounds, charging that its policies were stifling competition and hurting consumers. That case was scheduled to go to trial in Chicago in July.

The settlement “is a win for consumers, certainly, who will now have the benefit of unrestricted competition,â€

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