The courtroom battle between Australia’s two biggest online real estate players has ended with a judge ruling that Domain.com.au did not breach most of the consumer laws in a case involving REA Group’s realestate.com.au.
REA Group (owned by NewsCorp) and the Fairfax-owned Domain.com ended up in court after Domain launched an advertising campaign in February 2016 whereby it claimed to be the #1 property app – it was quickly sued by its competitor REA.
Seven ads were identified in the case, including a four-page wrap around of the Sydney Morning Herald that stated Domain was the “#1 property app” and had the “most listings in Sydney”. A billboard also claimed Domain had the most listings in the Sydney real estate market. A similar wrap-around published in The Age that weekend said Domain had “the best listings” in Melbourne.
Justice Murphy of the Federal Court in Melbourne found that five out of seven advertisements published by Domain were entirely reasonable claims or just “advertising puffery”, reports Sydney Morning Herald.
This outcome paves the way for Domain to resume its advertising campaign and possibly claim damages for having to put it on hold for 12 months.