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FTC Sues To Block CoStar From Buying Rival RentPath

 |  November 30, 2020

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has filed an administrative complaint (a public version of which will be available and linked to this news release as soon as possible), and authorized a suit in federal court, to block internet listing services provider CoStar’s proposed US$587.5 million acquisition of competitor RentPath.

The complaint alleges that the acquisition would significantly increase concentration in the already highly concentrated markets for internet listing services advertising for large apartment complexes in 49 individual metropolitan areas across the United States.

“Renters have come to depend on the convenience of online search sites to find available apartments that meet their needs and budget,” said Daniel Francis, Deputy Director of the FTC’s Bureau of Competition. “CoStar and RentPath operate several of the most popular sites, and their aggressive, head-to-head competition has kept advertising rates low while offering consumers a convenient, data-rich tool for finding an apartment. This acquisition will eliminate price and quality competition that benefits both renters and property managers.”

According to the complaint, 70% of US apartment complexes with 200 or more units, and approximately 50% of US apartment buildings with 100 to 199 units, advertise on ILSs operated by either CoStar, RentPath, or both. The acquisition will increase concentration in these markets even further.

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