I posted last month about how the Canadian Commission on Competition had ruled against the Canadian Real Estate Association, (CREA) saying that its MLS system is monopolistic. The bureau has been investigating CREA for three years and filed the application after negotiations, which started in October, broke down.
On March 22nd, CREA announced that they would open up their MLS so that the public will be able to list their properties directly into the MLS system. However, it seems that that isn’t good enough for the Commissioner, Melanie Aitken. She came back with the following, written up in the Montreal Gazette:
“The commissioner of competition has stated in multiple media statements that amendments amount to a blank cheque because new anti-competitive rules could be introduced by CREA or its member boards. In CREA’s view, this allegation is preposterous,” the real estate group remarked in its court filing.
Aitken reiterated in her latest filing that the amendments instituted by CREA change nothing. “CREA’s rules continue to prohibit real estate brokers from offering fully unbundled services to home sellers and continue to prevent entry and expansion of alternatives to the traditional, full service real estate model,” says her filing.
“Further, CREA and member boards have expressly protected the freedom to pass further rules at any time that may hinder or exclude or have the effect of hindering or excluding competitors from offering alternative services in the relevant market.”