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Competition among two is still competition
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FTC agreement may clear road for CoreLogic's $661M acquisition of DataQuick

Terms of agreement give leg up to RealtyTrac

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CoreLogic (CLGX) has agreed to a proposed settlement with the Federal Trade Commission that, if accepted and finalized, clears the way for its pending $661 million acquisition of DataQuick Information Systems.

At issue with the FTC were charges that the acquisition would likely substantially lessen competition in the market for national assessor and recorder bulk data.

The FTC was concerned that the acquisition would eliminate one of only three providers of national assessor and recorder bulk data. Regulators alleged that the proposed acquisition increased the risk of anticompetitive coordination between the remaining two market participants and the risk that CoreLogic would unilaterally exercise market power and raise prices for customers.

“We are pleased that the proposed acquisition by CoreLogic of Marshall &Swift/Boeckh and DataQuick from the Decision Insight Information Group has received antitrust clearance from the Federal Trade Commission,” said Alyson Auston, CoreLogic’s senior manager for media and public relations.  “As previously communicated, we look forward to completing this acquisition before the end of March and beginning to deliver additional value to our clients and shareholders.”

The FTC was concerned that the acquisition would eliminate one of only three providers of national assessor and recorder bulk data. Regulators alleged that the proposed acquisition increased the risk of anticompetitive coordination between the remaining two market participants and the risk that CoreLogic would unilaterally exercise market power and raise prices for customers.

Terms of the agreement may benefit competitor RealtyTrac. The order allows RealtyTrac to offer the data and services that DataQuick now offers, making it a player in the market.

The FTC’s proposed settlement order requires CoreLogic to license to RealtyTrac its national assessor and recorder bulk data as well as several ancillary data sets that DataQuick provides to its customers.

The FTC voted unanimously to endorse the agreement. The agreement now goes to the Federal Register where it is subject to public comment for 30 days. After the public comment period, the FTC will decide whether to make the settlement final.

RealtyTrac’s core focus is its online marketplace of foreclosure real property listings and its national foreclosure data services.

The FTC vote to accept the consent agreement containing the proposed consent order for public comment was 4-0.

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