The CREA Abuse of Dominance Case: Competition Bureau Challenges Organized Real Estate in Canada

Steve Szentesi, Aug 31, 2010

On February 8, 2010, the Canadian Competition Bureau (the “Bureau”) filed an abuse of dominance application against one of Canada’s largest single industry trade associations-The Canadian Real Estate Association (“CREA”).

According to the Bureau, CREA has used rules, under which it licenses its MLS® trade-mark and related marks to member real estate boards, to maintain control of the market for residential real estate brokerage services in Canada. In particular, the Bureau has taken the position that CREA’s MLS® Rules inhibit or prevent non-traditional business models, including fee-for-service and flat-fee models, from effectively competing in the residential real estate services market.