Archived — Competition Bureau responds to revised real estate rules
OTTAWA, March 22, 2010 — The Competition Bureau said today that it will continue with its challenge to anti‑competitive rules imposed by the Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA).
CREA members voted today to amend rules to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) that will protect CREA's ability to impose and enforce anti‑competitive rules that deny consumer choice and stifle competition. The amendments do not remove the existing roadblocks to real estate agents who list properties on the MLS from offering innovative services and pricing options to consumers.
There is nothing in these proposals that we haven't seen before and they do not solve the problem," said Melanie Aitken, Commissisoner of Competition, "
They are a step in the wrong direction. These amendments amount to a blank cheque allowing CREA and its members to create rules that could have even greater anti‑competitive consequences."
In February, the Competition Bureau filed a challenge to CREA's rules regarding the use of the MLS. The Bureau has concluded that these rules restrict the ability of consumers to choose the real estate services they want, forcing them to pay for services they do not need. The rules also prevent real estate agents from offering more innovative service and pricing options to consumers.
"We have repeatedly advised CREA's leadership that these amendments do not solve our ongoing competition concerns and I reiterated this directly to CREA as recently as last week in a letter to the President," the Commissioner said.
The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that contributes to the prosperity of Canadians by protecting and promoting competitive markets and enabling informed consumer choice.
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