Federal Trade Commission wins MLS case in which Albert Hepp testified | BuySelf.com


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Federal Trade Commission wins MLS case in which Albert Hepp testified

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has won the MLS trade case in which I testified back in 2007. You may recall the posts where I described the part I played in this case in Washington, DC.
No surprise, the Judges found that an MLS may not treat MLS listings of discounters differently than the listings of traditional listing brokerages. There were four Judges, and all four Judges agreed that MLSs can’t discriminate.
This case has become “academic” in so many ways, mostly because 99% of MLSs are run by professionals who never had any desire to discriminate between traditional companies and innovative companies. A long time ago, when I first started as a flat fee broker it would have been nice if this issue were crystal clear for MLSs. A tiny handful of the nearly 800 MLSs in the United States were manipulated into making the flat fee MLS listing business difficult. I guess whenever there is progress, progress is also change, a few will choose to fight rather than adapt, even when it is clearly a losing battle. I think this is the official end of that battle, I don’t expect it to resurface ever again.
Nevertheless, it is reassuring to know that if even one Multiple Listing Service attempts to restrain the flat fee MLS option, it is now clearly illegal. What’s more, knowing that the Federal Trade Commission and U.S. Department of Justice will quickly enforce the law is even more comforting.