Have you seen this article in the Washington Post?

Justice Department officials and others who have tracked the case said the agreement will result in more choices and better service for consumers, as well as lower costs because of competition over commissions. Many online firms offer savings because they provide limited services.

To start -

1) What business does the government have in regulating free enterprise?

2) Nothing is preventing others from starting their own MLS.

3) I’d like to know how much this investigation/suit/settlement cost the taxpayers.

4) Those who think the Realtor business isn’t competitive doesn’t know what they’re talking about.

Download the proposed settlement here (and actually read it!)

The Real Estate Bloggers write what I was thinking:

The amazing thing about monopoly and governmental lawsuits against companies over the issues of technology is that by the time the slow gears of justice run their course, the battle has long been over.

This is the case of the NAR. The opening of the MLS systems to online and virtual real estate companies has long been over. The bigger battle will be the viability of maintaining an expensive MLS in the age of Trulias and Zillows.

Zillow and Trulia and Cyberhomes and Roost, etc. didn’t exist in 2004.

And the XBroker wrote the headline I wish I’d written – DOJ vs NAR Lawsuit Turned Into an Exercise in Irrelevancy

Where will we go from here? Realtors will keep competing, buyers will keep searching online, sellers will still think that print advertising works (it does, but not to sell houses), and technology will continue to change at a pace much faster than behemoths like the NAR or the incompetents within our federal government can handle.

Innovation was just fine before the government stepped in, thank you.

Next up – the DOJ should go after Google for having the most dominant search engine.

——————

More coverage:

Agent Genius

Joe at Sellsius provides a legal perspective

An MLS perspective by Michael Wurzer

Bloodhound

Redfin

The original article appeared on Jim Duncan’s blog, RealCentralVA.com and has been republished here at VARBuzz by request.