On Thursday, a US court filed a lawsuit against the country’s largest corporate Mobile Home Community (MHC) managers and a market data provider for allegedly conspiring to increase rental prices, which affect especially older and low-income people.
According to the lawsuit, the defendants have shared competitively sensitive information about lot rents and occupancy rate details via industry reports from Datacomp, the market data provider. This information gave them the opportunity to coordinate their prices, thus violating the U.S. antitrust law.
The 85-page complaint seeks to stop the defendants’ activities and demands triple damages and other remedies. Furthermore, it is estimated that rental prices have increased annually by 9.1% from 2019 to 2021.
Gregory Asciolla, attorney for plaintiffs and representative of DiCello Levitt, was pleased by the lawsuit: “Given the number of Americans who reside in mobile home communities and the fact that this case is nationwide, the damages will be substantial.”
This lawsuit is the latest of many, accusing pricing-fixing through shared market data among competitors, and is an attempt to combat this form of illegal activity and protect vulnerable populations from price inflation.