US District Judge Thomas Zilly on Thursday denied Seattle-based Zillow’s motion to dismiss antitrust and false advertising claims filed by Real Estate Exchange (Rex), a tech-focused real estate broker based in Austin, Texas.
The lawsuit stems from Rex’s listings moving from “agent listings” to the more obscure “other listings” tab on Zillow’s website. Zillow bills itself as the most-visited real estate website in the US.
Rex filed the suit in March in the Western District of Washington court, taking aim at both Zillow and the National Association of Realtors (NAR).
In addition to the suit, Rex filed an injunction to move its listings out of the “other listings” tab, which the court denied. The court’s Sept. 2 decision, however, keeps Rex’s lawsuit hopes alive.
“Rex is the only real estate industry player willing to fight for consumers in courts of law and public opinion against the cartel that is driving up residential real estate fees,” Rex CEO Jack Ryan said in a statement. “The broker bosses do not want consumers to choose homes or the price they pay for themselves.”
Rex brought four claims against both Zillow and NAR: an unreasonable restraint of trade, false advertising, an unfair or deceptive act or practice, and conspiracy to restrain trade.
The judge denied Zillow’s motion to dismiss all the claims. NAR’s motion to dismiss the unreasonable restraint of trade and the conspiracy to restrain trade claims was denied, while the false advertising and unfair act or practice claims were dismissed.
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