Bureau welcomes Tribunal order addressing anti-competitive Toronto real estate practices
Tribunal orders Toronto Real Estate Board to remove restrictions on virtual office websites
June 03, 2016 — OTTAWA, Ontario — Competition Bureau
The Commissioner of Competition welcomes the Competition Tribunal’s order today addressing the Toronto Real Estate Board's (TREB) anti‑competitive conduct.
The order issued by the Tribunal requires TREB to remove restrictions on its member agents’ access to important data, including historical listings and sale prices, for display online through virtual office websites. TREB’s member agents can use the data in innovative ways to offer consumers the convenience of data‑driven insights into home sales prices and trends via the web and to improve the efficiency and quality of their services
The order follows the Tribunal’s ruling in favour of the Commissioner of Competition in April, where it concluded that TREB ?has abused its dominant position in the Toronto residential real estate services market, restricting the ability of its member realtors to offer innovative services over the internet.
The matter is ongoing as the Commissioner of Competition has been served with a Notice of Appeal by the TREB, alleging that the Tribunal erred when it ruled in favour of the Bureau.
- The Tribunal highlighted the importance of innovation and dynamic competition in its reasons for decision when it ruled in favour of the Commissioner of Competition in April.
- The TREB case has been ongoing since 2011, when the Commissioner originally filed an application with the Tribunal challenging restrictions that the Board imposed on its members’ use and display of data in the Toronto Multiple Listing Service (MLS) system.
- Following a hearing in 2012, the Tribunal dismissed the Commissioner’s application. The Commissioner successfully appealed this decision, and the case returned to the Tribunal for rehearing in fall 2015.
"I welcome today’s order by the Competition Tribunal requiring the Toronto Real Estate Board to permit member agents to use and display critical data on virtual office websites. The Bureau remains focused on ensuring that consumers benefit from innovation and competition in the provision of real estate services."John Pecman
Commissioner of Competition
- May 10, 2016: Competition Bureau releases detailed summary of reasons in Toronto real estate decision
- April 28, 2016: Competition Tribunal rules in favour of the Commissioner in Toronto real estate case
- July 24, 2014: Supreme Court Denies Toronto Real Estate Board’s Application for Leave to Appeal Pro‑Competitive Federal Court of Appeal Ruling
- February 3, 2014: Federal Court of Appeal Overturns Competition Tribunal Ruling on Toronto Real Estate Board Case
- May 14, 2013: Competition Bureau Appeals Competition Tribunal Ruling In Toronto Real Estate Board Case
- April 15, 2013: Competition Bureau to Review Competition Tribunal Ruling
- September 10, 2012: Competition Bureau's Case Against Canada's Largest Real Estate Board: Hearing Starts Today
- May 27, 2011: Competition Bureau Sues Canada's Largest Real Estate Board for Denying Services Over the Internet
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