Zillow Fires Back at REX Antitrust Claims

May 3, 2021
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Firing back at claims made in March by discount brokerage, REX, Zillow says that REX is being self-servicing and without anything to truly back up the allegations that Zillow and NAR are both are using anti-competitive practices to stay at the top of the market. 

Zillow’s opposition motion to the REX suit claims that REX only brought the issue to court because it was “unhappy with Zillow’s independent decision to obtain faster, more reliable, and better data for Zillow’s consumers.” Zillow’s statement in reply is that nothing it does is meant to conspire against REX. 

REX filed the original complaint in March, stating that Zillow and NAR were founded to  “drastically reduce commissions,” making it harder for smaller companies to compete in such highly competitive markets across the country. REX wants to offer discounted services but the mere existence of Zillow and NAR makes that impossible. 

Zillow’s change in the way it receives listings did nothing but put a big target on its back where REX is involved. Switching to an IDX feed, which reduces the number of data streams coming into the company to around 600 means it's faster and more efficient than its competitors using the outdated data streams. 

The IDX feed means Zillow now follows local MLS rules, putting it in direct competition with smaller brokerages and listing services, meaning these smaller companies now have to struggle to keep their own customers in the shadow of a national giant. One such brokerage being REX, which claimed to see a sharp decline in website traffic since Zillow’s switch over to an IDX feed. 

The original lawsuit stated: 

“Zillow’s recently implemented website changes make non-MLS listings accessible only via a recessed, obscured, and deceptive tab that consumers do not see, and even professional real estate agents find deceiving.”

So, how is Zillow replying? In its opposition claim, the company stated that REX’s “desire for its listings to be located on a different tab does not make Zillow’s actions a conspiracy or boycott, and certainly not a per se antitrust violation.” Zillow also pointed out that REX is a vertical supplier of property listings as a way of showing how little sense the original complaint makes. 

REX has also brought its grievances against a number of state officials and agencies in Oregon, as the situation is ongoing. 

May 3, 2021
Victoria has been writing about property portals and marketplace sites for Online Marketplaces for over 3 years. She is also our resident artist and is responsible for all of the infographic content on the site.

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