REX Antitrust Claims Against Zillow Dismissed with Prejudice

August 17, 2023
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Online brokerage REX has had its antitrust claims against Zillow and the National Association of Realtors (NAR) thrown out, with Judge Thomas Zilly asserting that REX did not prove Zillow and NAR had conspired to hide particular listings on its portal maliciously.

However, some claims against Zillow remain and will be decided in a trial set for 18 September 2023.

In a case dating back to 2021, now-defunct brokerage REX claimed that Zillow used an IDX feed—a new technology which required Zillow to separate members' property listings from non-members' listings—to unfairly segregate listings at the expense of the homebuyer and listers.

REX claimed that Zillow's new technology was driving traffic away from its own (and other FSBO) listings—a claim that bore fruit when REX ceased operations in 2022 after several rounds of layoffs—which it blamed on Zillow.

But now Judge Zilly has asserted that REX failed to prove that Zillow and NAR had agreed to work together to disadvantage non-multiple listing service listings on the portal’s website.

The antitrust claims were thrown out with prejudice, meaning they will be permanently dismissed unless REX appeals the decision.

However, the case isn't closed with three claims by REX still to be decided.

Zillow will be under the microscope for one claim of false advertising under the Lanham Act, one claim of unfair or deceptive trade practices under Washington’s Consumer Protection Act (CPA), and one claim alleging defamation.

Will Lemke, a spokesperson for Zillow, told Inman:

"Today’s ruling is a significant victory for Zillow in this case. The court agreed REX’s antitrust claim was without merit and lacked any evidence to back it up.

"This ruling affirms Zillow’s business decisions were squarely focused on improving the data on our website for consumers. With REX’s central argument tossed from this case, we believe the public now sees this case for what it is: REX seized upon another company’s website design change to hide its own business failings."

Find out more about the timeline of this court case here.

 

 

August 17, 2023
Harvey is an experienced property journalist and copywriter. He has written about the property industry since 2015, starting at The Property Franchise Group in the UK, before moving to Spain to work for Spotahome. He has blogged for the private rented sector, ghostwritten for UK property experts and written case studies for franchise owners around the UK. Harvey joined Online Marketplaces as a News Editor in 2022.

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