Realtors Settle Antitrust Case With Feds

     WASHINGTON (CN) – Realtors’ sales commission may drop now that the U.S. Department of Justice and the National Association of Realtors have settled an antitrust complaint that will prohibit the association from denying online brokers access to multiple listing services.

     The Justice Department sued the association in 2005, claiming it was restricting competition; the trial was scheduled to start in July.
     Realtors generally charge 6 percent commission on sales of homes. Online brokers charge less than that.
     It was a rare case of the Bush administration lining up with the weaker side in an antitrust complaint. The agreement must be approved by a federal judge.
     Real estate agents earned $93 billion in commissions in 2006.

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