The Competition Tribunal dismissed, with costs, the anti-competitive complaint of the Competition Bureau against TREB yesterday. Read about the Tribunal’s decision on REM's Website and The Toronto Star.
This is a major victory for TREB which has maintained that the consumer’s right to privacy should prevent sensitive information such as the sales price history of homes from being openly circulated on the Internet through so-called VOWs (virtual office websites). We applaud this decision for a number of reasons but primarily because the MLS® system was built and paid for by REALTORS® over a very long period of time and, as a result, should not be made available as a “public utility”, even if a minority of REALTORS® want open access to support their particular business model. We believe that, since the MLS® system is an asset of CREA, only REALTORS® as a whole should be able to alter the accessibility of the system. Clearly most REALTORS® do not support the change sought by the Competition Bureau and so the Tribunal’s decision, regardless of how it arrived at it, was the correct one. Comments?