MLS Group Settles Zillow ShowingTime Lawsuit

June 17, 2024
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A group of muliple listings services (MLSs) in the United States have reached an agreement to settle a lawsuit brought against them by the real estate portal operator Zillow back in December.

Terms of the agreement in principle were not disclosed and both parties have declined to comment further on the matter.

The defendants—MLS Aligned, a collective of six regional MLSs, and two of its members in Arizona and Wisconsin—were accused by Zillow of attempting to "monopolize the market for real estate showing management services" by only using their own proprietary showing management software and blocking the use of Zillow's ShowingTime solution.

In the U.S. MLSs are a crucial part of real estate transactions and sit between agents and portals. Agents use MLS interfaces to manage their viewings with many MLSs around the country integrating ShowingTime into their systems.

However, after Zillow bought ShowingTime the defendants came together to build their own showing management platform. Both ShowingTime and the MLSs' proprietary solution were previously available to agents using the named MLSs but the decision to phase out ShowingTime prompted the Seattle-based portal operator to take legal action.

In a blog post, Zillow's Head of Industry Relations, Errol Samuelson, defended the company's "unprecedented" legal action saying it was about making sure agents maintained the choice of which software to use.

Court documents from the 13th of June indicated that the agreement was substantially complete and is expected to be finalised in around one month's time.

June 17, 2024
Since March 2020 Edmund's job has been to read about, write about, collect data on, analyse and generally know about real estate marketplaces and the companies that run them. Before that he worked at the aggregator Mitula Group (which became Lifull Connect) for five years.

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