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Zillow tries to end Rex antitrust lawsuit

The Real Estate startup, Rex, had filed an antitrust lawsuit upon Zillow in March of this current year. It was a charge about segregating the homes for sale on Zillow's website, which was a part of its new transformation. 

In response, Zillow logged court papers to withdraw Rex's complaint, alerting that this trial may hinder the country's most popular real estate search platform. The filing, in which Zillow refuses an order demanded by REX, claims that REX is months late in making the complaint. It designates REX as a "vertical information supplier" of Zillow.

Moreover, the court papers claim that REX is attempting to make a false and imaginary figure of Zillow by constantly citing Zillow's closer collaboration with the prominent National Association of Realtors trade organization. Zillow expresses that REX is probably filing the lawsuit because it is unhappy with Zillow's decision of making independent settlements to acquire quicker and more accurate information for its customers. According to the objection paper, instead of adjusting to Zillow's reforms, REX has devised a huge industry-wide conspiracy against Zillow. REX is alleging that Zillow is trying to pump up broker agent commissions by linking up with the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

All these filing discussions took place in Washington federal court in Seattle.

On the 3rd of May, REX responded to the legal filing in its corporate statement. The statement implies that both Zillow and NAR probably cannot pursue curbing the customer's needs. Zillow, the real-estate powerhouse, ultimately acknowledges that the NAR and MLS's old-fashioned, anti-competitive laws are unfair for customers. The statement accuses Zillow that the firm is still implementing those rules and joining with them despite knowing about the situation.

Thomas Zilly, the federal judge who is taking charge of this case, has scheduled the next hearing for the trial on the 10th of May.

Let's have a brief sketch of the lawsuit.

The main reason for the REX's making such a case upon Zillow is that its listings are dishonestly allocated to the "other listings" category rather than the "agent listings" section of Zillow's site. This "other" is derogatory, as per REX, and is an effort by NAR member brokerage firms to expand their anti-competitive monopoly on property sales. The trial's participants accept that the split between agents and others is due to Zillow's dramatic change in how it accumulates listing information. In the previous year, the US-origin digital property marketplace firm commenced making deals with Multiple Listing Services (MLS) to receive their Internet Data Display (IDX) feeds. The NAR local branches operate the majority of those MLS. The conflict arose when the Rich Barton-led business joined the National Association of Realtors (NAR) as a residential brokerage member, putting an end to a years-long tradition of collecting advertising data from various sources.

Intending to enhance the customer's real estate experience, REX primarily depends upon customer-facing portals such as Zillow to spread information about its offerings. It does not engage in local multiple listing services. In addition, based on the current court filing, REX provides Zillow with listing details. It also pays the organization to have its agents listed on the Zillow platform as "Zillow Premier Agents."

The NAR acts as a co-defendant in this litigation. The national organization stated during the proceedings that the MLS framework puts customers first by facilitating fair access for investors, vendors, and small brokerage firms. The MLSs provide authentic and reliable details regarding properties for sale to them and that too detailed. Pointing to REX, NAR says that it cannot distort antitrust laws to transfer duties for its own inability to gain popularity in the marketplace.

Zillow is a well-reputed mortgage marketplace since 2016. The stocks of the firm trades on NASDAQ with a market capitalization of $27.929billion. Recently, the company has announced its first-quarter results of a total revenue of $1.2billion.