Real Estate

Zillow Reaches Preliminary Settlement In MLS Antitrust Lawsuit

Zillow, Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service, Metro MLS and MLS Aligned have reached a preliminary settlement in their antitrust case. Zillow claimed ARMLS and Metro MLS conspired to create a “monopoly” when they removed their deep integration with ShowingTime in favor of MLS Aligned’s listing platform.

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Residential portal giant Zillow has reached a preliminary settlement in its antitrust lawsuit against Arizona Regional Multiple Listing Service (ARMLS), Multiple Listing Service, Inc. (Metro MLS) and MLS Aligned, according to a court filing on Friday.

“Plaintiffs Zillow Group, Inc. and, LLC provide this notice … that they have reached a settlement in principle with all Defendants in this action,” the filing read. “Accordingly, all Parties have agreed, and request of the Court, that the hearing now set for June 18, 2024, be vacated.”

Zillow filed the lawsuit against ARMLS, Metro MLS and MLS Aligned in December 2023. In the suit, Zillow said ARMLS and MetroMLS violated antitrust laws when they planned to disable their integrations with ShowingTime in favor of MLS Aligned’s Aligned Showings platform. ARMLS shuttered its integration with ShowingTime on Dec. 27, with MLS Inc. following suit in February 2024.

Zillow questioned the timing of ARMLS and Metro MLS’ decision, claiming it was an attempt to give MLS Aligned “a monopoly” in the MLSs’ respective regions.

“The MLSs declined all offered alternatives and resolutions, leaving their agent members with no choice, and giving Aligned Showings an effective monopoly in their regions,” Zillow Chief Industry Development Officer Errol Samuelson said in a previous Inman article. “As a last resort, we filed a legal complaint because we believe the actions by these two MLSs are anticompetitive and disadvantage agents — and consumers — in these markets.”

ARMLS and Metro MLS batted off Zillow’s claims with a motion to dismiss filed in February, where the MLSs’ legal counsel argued the introduction of MLS Aligned increased competition.

“In late 2023, with ShowingTime’s contracts for integrated services ending in two regional markets, the MLS defendants each made an independent assessment determined it is in their best interests (and their subscriber members’ best interest) to choose an alternate vendor to provide this alternate service,” the February filing read. “By definition, the addition of a new player into an already crowded market increases competition, and the MLS defendants obviously have a financial interest in the success of that joint venture.”

Zillow declined to comment on the preliminary settlement, while ARMLS and Metro MLSs’ counsel have yet to respond to Inman’s inquiries.

All three parties have until July 19 to finish settlement documentation.

“Plaintiffs and Defendants anticipate that the settlement documentation will be completed within about a month. They therefore ask that the court stay all deadlines until July 19, 2024,” the filing read. “If dismissals have not been filed by that date, the Parties will file a joint report informing the Court of the status of their settlement closure efforts.”

Read the full filing below:

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