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Zillow Wins Antitrust Suit Over Broker Collusion

 |  March 7, 2021

On Thursday, March 4, Judge John Michael Vazquez of the District of New Jersey issued an opinion, granting defendants Zillow Group and Zillow’s motion to dismiss the Second Amended Complaint in an antitrust lawsuit brought forth by EJ MGT.

According to the opinion, the plaintiff claimed that Zillow, an online real estate information company, “illegally contracts with certain real estate brokers to alter the location of those brokers’ property listings’ estimated prices, called ‘Zestimates,’ on Zillow’s web pages while not offering this option to other brokers, agents, and property owners, such as Plaintiff.”

The plaintiff stated that each Zillow listed property shows a “Zestimate” estimating the market value of a home using an algorithm which Zillow claims is a “starting point” for determining home value. The opinion noted that in January 2017, the plaintiff listed a property for sale with a broker and listing agent, however, the Zestimate for the property was allegedly “well below the appraised value of” the property. Allegedly, two potential buyers “were turned off from considering a potential purchase of the property” because of the Zestimate.

The court dismissed the amended complaint with prejudice finding the allegations not sufficiently plead although the plaintiffs had two chances to amend its complaint.

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