Secrecy of home sales data reduces competition, tribunal rules

Canada's Competition Tribunal says the real estate board in Canada's largest city stifles competition by limiting access to data on home sales.

The tribunal issued a lengthy ruling late Wednesday in a dispute between the Toronto Real Estate Board and the Competition Bureau of Canada.

Last fall, the two sides met in court to argue over who should have access to detailed data about home sales. The bureau argues that the Realtor group limits competition and subsequently keeps costs high by restricting access to data on its proprietary Multiple Listing Service, on which more than 90 per cent of all Canadian home sales get processed. 

The real estate board counters that it owns that data and needs to limit access to it for the privacy of buyers and sellers.

Preventing competition

The tribunal ruled in favour of the competition watchdog late Wednesday. A public version of the 170-page ruling is set to be released in the coming days, but for now the tribunal put out a one-page release explaining that it has come to a decision.

"The tribunal concluded that the … restrictions have had, are having and are likely to have the effect of preventing competition substantially in a market," the release said.

A full version of the judgment has yet to be released, "in order to protect properly confidential evidence" but will be released in the coming days, as soon as lawyers for both sides can agree on what can be made public.

It's not immediately clear what the ruling means for consumers, as the tribunal has yet to explain what penalties may be imposed or whether TREB will be ordered  to open up its data to anyone requesting it at some point.

"The specific terms of the tribunal's order will be determined after the parties have provided written submissions addressing this issue of remedy and have had an opportunity to make oral submissions on that issue," the tribunal said.

But despite being a quasi-judicial body, the tribunal makes binding decisions on issues brought forth by the bureau.

TREB has vied openly with some of its own members in recent months, moving to shut down email or internet-based services that send out information on recent home sales. Elsewhere in Canada, local real estate boards haven't cracked down on the practice.

More to come

Let's block ads! (Why?)

Share on Google Plus

About Văn Khang Nguyễn

My blog is the place to update the latest information on sports, science and technology ... If you found this article good, useful please the share for others to see, even if you want to design a ecommerce website or web edit or set a special plugin functionality, please contact us now (Information in the footer)
    Blogger Comment
    Facebook Comment

0 nhận xét:

Đăng nhận xét