Zillow, accused of preferential treatment, sued in an antitrust suit

A lawsuit has been filed accusing Zillow of favoring listings belonging to the National Association of Realtors.


In the suit filed in U.S. federal court in Seattle, Rex alleges that Zillow and its affiliate Trulia are illegally favoring listings by brokers who belong to the National Association of Realtors, the most prominent U.S. real estate trade association. Home listings by non-NAR agents are now relegated to a "hidden tab" on the websites, the startup says.

The change by Zillow and Trulia forces all non-NAR listings to have "permanent low visibility," Rex general counsel Mike Toth said in an interview. "This is the real estate web returning to this old vision of data segregation rather than data democratization for consumers."

The suit could upend the way online real estate platforms — now one of the first stops for American homebuyers — operate and open the door for more buyers to negotiate down the hefty commissions real estate agents often charge.

Zillow is a billboard.