This antitrust lawsuit, submitted to the Arizona federal court, represents Zillow’s aggressive move to protect its interests and ensure fair competition in the real estate market, particularly focusing on the domain of scheduling software used by real estate agents.
- Defendants: The lawsuit is against Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, another unnamed service, and Metro MLS based in Wisconsin.
- Allegations: Zillow accuses these services of colluding to boycott its subsidiary, ShowingTime, thereby stifling competition in the market for real estate scheduling tools.
- Central Issue: The dispute hinges on the “multiple listing services” (MLS), which are crucial platforms listing most homes for sale in the U.S. Zillow contends that the Arizona services conspired to limit real estate agents’ freedom to choose their showing tools, thus hindering the scheduling process for property viewings, especially in Arizona.
- Specific Claims: The lawsuit details that the defendants established their showing platform, Aligned Showings, directing agents in the Phoenix area to use it, sidelining Zillow’s ShowingTime. Zillow alleges this move is part of a broader attempt to monopolize the market for real estate showing management services in the regions they control.
Consequences and Claims
- Market Impact: Zillow argues that such actions not only limit competition but also potentially harm agents and buyers by creating unnecessary hurdles in scheduling property tours.
- Relief Sought: Zillow is seeking injunctive relief to stop the alleged anticompetitive behavior of the defendants, along with damages and a jury trial. They emphasize the need for a fair chance to compete on the merits of their showing management platform.
The lawsuit signifies a critical juncture for Zillow and the real estate industry at large.
It underscores the competitive tensions and the high stakes involved in the technological infrastructure supporting real estate transactions.
As the case unfolds, it will likely set precedents for how listing services operate and collaborate with technology companies like Zillow, influencing the broader landscape of real estate services and technology platforms.