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OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®

Daily Real Estate News  |  September 9, 2005  |   DOJ Sues NAR Over Wrong MLS Listings Policy The NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSŪ says the U.S. Department of Justice has filed a lawsuit against NAR over an MLS listings policy that no longer exists, according to a statement NAR released today. The DOJ filed a lawsuit on Thursday, a day after the association announced a new policy governing the display of MLS listings on the Internet. Known as Internet Listing Display (ILD), the new policy consolidates and replaces both the Virtual Office Web Site (VOW) policy and the Internet Data Exchange (IDX) policy to create a single, unified policy governing the Internet display of all property information originating from the more than 800 multiple listing services owned and operated by REALTORŪ organizations. In the 14-page DOJ lawsuit, only one paragraph mentions NAR’s new ILD policy announced by the association this week. The balance of the complaint refers to the former VOW policy. The suit primarily challenges three provisions of the former policy, two of which are not part of the new ILD policy. The one provision challenged by the government in its complaint that still exists in the new NAR policy governs brokers’ ability to opt out of displaying their listings on competitors’ Web sites. The suit mischaracterized the purpose and effect of the provision, which was intended to protect brokers’ ownership rights in their property listings, according to the NAR statement. NAR has discussed provisions of the new policy with Department of Justice attorneys since May and provided them the new policy before it was made public yesterday. “The new policy results in part from the discussions NAR held with the Justice Department over the past four months,” says Laurie Janik, NAR’s chief counsel. “We listened to what they had to say and they helped us to come up with a significantly better policy. We’re shocked and disappointed that after all these discussions, they would sue us over a policy that no longer exists. We would like to encourage them to revisit their decision.” Janik reiterated her confidence in NAR’s legal position. In announcing the adoption of the new ILD policy on Wednesday, NAR said the policy will bring consumers more points of access to real estate information from multiple listing services than they have had before. "For consumers, whether they are homebuyers or sellers, this new policy is a win-win," NAR President Al Mansell of Salt Lake City said Wednesday. "Buyers will be able to find all the listings available for public display on the Web site of the broker of their choice and sellers will be able to work with the listing broker of their choice. The policy treats all MLS members equally yet respects the rights of property owners and their listing brokers to market a property as they see fit.” Under the new policy, listing brokers will not be allowed to restrict the display of their listings on selected competitors’ Web sites, as they were under the controversial provision known as “selective opt-out” contained in NAR’s now-defunct VOW policy. All MLS property listing data available for display will automatically be available to all MLS members unless a member notifies the MLS in advance that he or she does not want to participate in Internet Listing Display. In that case, none of the listings he or she enters into the MLS will be available for display on other brokers’ Web sites nor will he or she be allowed to display other brokers’ listings on his or her own Web site. A broker who has elected to “opt out” may not reverse that decision for 90 days. The ILD policy contains a new feature that allows brokers who have opted out of displaying their listings on competitors’ Web sites the opportunity to make an exception at the direction of a particular seller who wants to have his or her property displayed on the Web sites of all other members of the MLS. To stay on top of the latest developments on the lawsuit and NAR's Internet listing policy, go to REALTOR.org. —REALTORŪ Magazine Online

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sounds like NAR just scre...Charlee Peddicord, Realm Realtors, Houston, TX - 09/16/2005

I strongly feel that the ...Fran MacDonald, self, Hooksett, NH - 09/09/2005