Competition Bureau reaches agreement to protect real estate competition in the Northwest Territories

News release

November 29, 2023 – GATINEAU, QC – Competition Bureau

The Competition Bureau announced today that it has entered into a consent agreement with the Northwest Territories Association of Realtors (NWTAR) to address concerns with its membership practices in the real estate sector.

A Bureau investigation found that the NWTAR engaged in anti-competitive conduct by denying membership to those seeking to compete remotely with the association’s existing members.

The Bureau concluded that the NWTAR’s conduct was contrary to the abuse of dominance provisions of the Competition Act.

Refusing membership based on differing business models creates barriers to new forms of competition, especially services that offer consumers additional choices and fee structures that differ from traditional full-service real estate brokerage services.

NWTAR cooperated with the Bureau’s investigation and signed an agreement to resolve its competition concerns. NWTAR has also granted membership to a firm that wanted to compete with NWTAR’s existing members.

As part of this agreement, NWTAR will accept members by following the terms and conditions listed on their website and ensure non-discriminatory access to the market for any future competitors.

The complete agreement is available on the website of the Competition Tribunal.

The Bureau encourages anyone who suspects an individual or a business of engaging in anti-competitive activities to file a complaint.

Quick facts

  • NWTAR is a trade association that represents real estate agents and salespeople in the Northwest Territories. The association provides its members with tools and services including professional development sessions, networking opportunities and access to the Multiple Listing Service.

  • The Multiple Listing Service is used by members as part of their brokerage’s services and is not accessible to the public.

  • Abuse of dominance occurs when a dominant business (or group of businesses) engages in activity that stops or substantially reduces competition in a market.

  • Consent agreements generally contain remedial measures that the Commissioner has determined are appropriate to address the impact of conduct that contravenes the abuse of dominance or other provisions of the Competition Act.

  • A consent agreement has the force and effect of a court order once it is registered with the Competition Tribunal.

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The Competition Bureau is an independent law enforcement agency that protects and promotes competition for the benefit of Canadian consumers and businesses. Competition drives lower prices and innovation while fueling economic growth.

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