RE/MAX enters into nationwide settlement resolving antitrust claims
Client(s) RE/MAX, LLC
Jones Day's client RE/MAX, LLC entered into a nationwide settlement involving lawsuits related to commissions in residential real estate transactions. In the lawsuits, which had been pending for several years, plaintiffs allege that a rule promulgated by the National Association of Realtors ("NAR"), which requires the listing broker representing the seller to pay the commission of the buyer’s broker, is anticompetitive and results in commissions being higher than they would otherwise be. The plaintiffs compared the system in the United States to systems in Australia, the United Kingdom, and other European countries, where buyers often do not have brokers or, if they do, the buyers pay their own brokers. Plaintiffs in the cases sought damages in the billions of dollars, and the district courts in Kansas City and Chicago had already certified plaintiff classes. The other defendants in the lawsuits include NAR, HomeServices of America, Keller Williams, and Realogy. Realogy also has settled, leaving the remaining defendants preparing for a trial in Kansas City that is scheduled to begin in mid-October.
The settlement, which will have to be approved by the district court in Kansas City, requires RE/MAX to pay $55 million and make certain changes to its franchise agreements including removing the requirement that RE/MAX agents be members of NAR and abide by NAR's rules.
Moehrl v. The National Association of Realtors, et al., No. 19-cv-01610 (N.D. Ill.); Sitzer et al. v. National Association of Realtors et al., No. 4:19-cv-00332 (W.D. Mo.)