DOJ intervenes in REX antitrust suit against NAR and Zillow

The U.S. Department of Justice formally submitted a “statement of interest” in the active antitrust lawsuit from real estate broker startup REX Real Estate against NAR and Zillow Group. The suit alleges that Zillow Group’s application of a NAR rule that listings from MLSs and other sources be kept separate in property search results violates antitrust laws as it disproportionately harms firms with listings not in the MLS. In a motion to dismiss the suit, NAR and Zillow Group say a 2008 consent decree between NAR and the DOJ shows that the DOJ approves the “commingling” rule by NAR. In this August statement, the DOJ formally makes clear that it had never explicitly approved the NAR commingling rule and that the court should not take that statement in the motion to dismiss the REX lawsuit into account when ruling.