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TREB fights accusations of anti-competitive practices…by stalling

For more than five years, the federal Competition Bureau has been investigating the Toronto Real Estate Board for anti-competitive behaviour—specifically, denying low-cost brokerages (and, through them, homebuyers and sellers) access to detailed property information, including past sales records. TREB has fought back against the accusations (with the help of some scary pictures), arguing that open access would violate homeowners’ privacy. The battle was supposed to culminate in a tribunal hearing two weeks from now. However, don’t expect the home-buying process to drastically change anytime soon: TREB has just filed a last-minute constitutional challenge, which argues that the federal competition body cannot interfere with the provincially regulated real estate industry. That expert stalling tactic could keep the case in limbo for another long stretch—which means that the dream of a Canadian Zillow is still eons away. [Toronto Star]

 

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