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Zillow reaches settlement agreement with MLS defendants in antitrust suit

The parties have until July 19, 2024, to finalize the terms of their settlement and filed a joint motion to dismiss

Plaintiffs Zillow Group and ShowingTime have reached a settlement agreement with defendants Arizona Regional MLS (ARMLS) and Wisconsin-based Metro MLS in Zillow’s antitrust suit against the multiple listing services.

The court was notified of the settlement in a filing on Thursday, but the final terms of the settlement agreement have yet to be announced.

Despite having not yet finalized the terms of the settlement, the parties specified in their notice that the final execution of the agreement “will result in the dismissal of the claims against” the defendants.

“The parties do not expect the remaining issues to be an obstacle to completing and executing that detailed agreement,” the filing noted.

The lawsuit, which was originally filed in late 2023, alleges that ARMLS, Metro MLS and MLS Aligned, the parent company of showing platform Aligned Showings, were “unlawfully attempting to monopolize the market for real estate showing management services in the geographic regions they control and from unlawfully conspiring to exclude or severely limit ShowingTime, their competitor in those markets.”

According to the initial complaint, in late 2023, the MLS defendants made the decision to only offer Aligned Showings to their members instead of including ShowingTime, which had been offered through the MLS defendants “for years.” MLS Aligned is a joint venture set up among the MLS defendants and other unspecified MLSs.

In mid-February 2024, the MLS defendants filed a motion to dismiss the suit with prejudice. In the motion, the defendants claimed that Zillow’s and ShowingTime’s “true grievance is not that the MLS Defendants are engaging in anticompetitive practices, but that ShowingTime — the dominant provider of showing management services nationally — is (ironically) now facing competition in a few regions.”

According to the motion, the complaint falsely interpreted antitrust law by alleging that the plaintiffs view competition as a “mortal threat” and not a “cornerstone of American capitalism.”

Due to the news of the settlement agreement, Judge Michael T. Liburdi, who is overseeing the suit, agreed to stay all deadlines until July 19, 2024, by which time the parties must file their joint stipulations to dismiss. The court order states that in the event that “the parties’ settlement agreements are not finalized by that time, they shall file a joint status report informing the Court of their settlement closure efforts.”

Zillow Group bought ShowingTime in 2021.

None of the parties involved in the suit responded to a request for comment.

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