The on-going battle between Zillow and NAR against local portal Real Estate Exchange (REX) is tipping in the favor of the two big-name companies.
REX had originally filed a claim against Zillow and NAR back in March, alleging that the shift to an IDX feed and a new segregation rule would spell harm for consumers and REX’s own business. The claim stated that this would unlawfully harm REX in the long-term.
Since then, the two national names have pushed back, stating that what REX is claiming is out of their control and does not violate antitrust laws.
Here is a comprehensive timeline of the events leading up to the most recent announcement from the Federal Court on Zillow, NAR vs. REX.
March 12, 2021
Zillow and NAR receive a summons to attend court.
March 17, 2021
REX brings scholarly research to court, stating that the American real estate industry is rigged in favor of traditional brokerages that charge 6% commission. REX alleges that not only does the American MLS system, but NAR take “most of the blame for the anti-competitive state of the industry."
May 3, 2021
Zillow fires back at allegations, claiming that REX is being ‘self-servicing’ and reinforcing its stance that both Zillow and NAR are not using anti-competitive practices and should not be compared to REX’s business model as REX is a vertical supplier of real estate listings.
May 11, 2021
REX files brief stating that the segregation rule does not provide any consumer benefit. Zillow admits this is true. REX states that Zillow should end the segregation rule because it agrees that there is no added benefit, that it, in fact, confuses its consumerbase. The brief is backed up by research conducted by Dr. Robert Majure, the former lead antitrust economist at the U.S. Department of Justice, who highlighted pro-consumer benefits of ending the rule. REX concludes the brief by saying ending the rule would not only benefit REX’s business, but Zillow’s as well.
June 10, 2021
The Federal Court rules against REX’s bid for preliminary injunction against both NAR and Zillow. The Court says at this time, “the court does not have to decide whether the plaintiff’s allegations are true, but whether they are plausible.”