The Competition Appeal Tribunal hearing involving Agents’ Mutual and Gascoigne Halman, which was set to start last week, has had a last-minute development, with the chairman ruling that additional documents could not be submitted by the defendant after the agreed deadline.
The hearing – scheduled to run last Friday for an estimated 12 days – is regarded as as a test of the so-called ‘one other portal only’ rule introduced by OnThe Market, the portal operated by Agents’ Mutual.
In 2016, Agents’ Mutual sued estate agents Gascoigne Halman and Moginie James for damages in the High Court accusing them of breaking the terms of their agreements by listing properties on more than one other portal.
But the agents disagreed and the High Court referred the case to the Competition Appeal Tribunal.
In the recent ruling posted online, the chairman, the Honourable Mr Justice Marcus Smith says that a pre-trial review (PTR) held on December 15 2016 dealt with various applications from Agents’ Mutual (the claimant) and Gascoigne Halman (the defendant).
Further clarifications were submitted and received by the parties before Christmas.
However, the defendant’s representatives wrote to the tribunal on January 16 this year asserting that “a number of key questions remain unresolved” despite earlier correspondence; it wished these to be resolved ahead of the tribunal.