Leading commercial property listing website loopnet.com has updated with two new features as its legal battle with commercial real estate information and marketing company CoStar continues.
The first update is the option to flag a property as “distressed” or “auction” when creating a listing. The website’s search has also been upgraded to limit results to distressed or auction properties.
loopnet.com sellers can now also create a branded webpage powered by loopnet.com with a personalised address. Clients can access this webpage even if they are not registered with loopnet.com.
Meanwhile, LoopNet Inc released a statement on 8 June detailing the release of documents by the Superior Court of the State of California relating to LoopNet's lawsuit against CoStar that alleges unlawful copying and use of LoopNet data. The statement says of the documents:
“The unsealed documents reveal that CoStar management directed as many as several hundred of its employees/researchers to run tens of thousands of searches on the LoopNet website for the stated purpose of ‘identifying advertisers and then determining how many listings they have’ and to use this information for potential ‘sales and marketing uses,’ such as advertising. CoStar also admits that it has utilised what it terms ‘electronic countermeasures’ to circumvent the usage limits put in place by LoopNet to guard against abusive activity.”
A statement released by CoStar on 9 June quotes CoStar Group General Counsel Jon Coleman as saying:
“CoStar categorically denies any wrongdoing. We have had a very specific agreement with LoopNet for the past four years that allows us to access information that appears on LoopNet’s publicly available website, and LoopNet’s lawsuit and its efforts to block CoStar’s valid use of this information is a breach of that agreement. LoopNet has apparently decided that it no longer wishes to abide by the terms of the settlement agreement it made four years ago.”
loopnet.com is the largest and most heavily trafficked online commercial real estate listing service. It has over 3 million registered members and receives 890,000 average monthly unique visitors, to inspect the $515 billion of property available for sale and 5.2 billion square feet of property available for lease on loopnet.com.
CoStar describes itself as “the number one provider of marketing/information services to commercial real estate professionals in the United States and the United Kingdom” and says it provides “access to the most comprehensive database of commercial real estate information” throughout the US, the UK and France.