TORONTO, November 3, 2011 -- The Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) was pleased by the decision of the Competition Tribunal of Canada to allow an application by The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) to participate in the Competition Commissioner's application to the Tribunal. In doing so, the Tribunal rejected the position of the Competition Commissioner, who sought to have CREA barred from participating in the proceedings.
Richard Silver, President of TREB, stated:
"We believe the Tribunal has made the right decision. The Commissioner wants to impose changes that could adversely impact the privacy rights of all Canadians and the entire Canadian real estate market by forcing private consumer information to be made available on the internet. As a national association, CREA's participation in the hearings before the Tribunal is vital to a proper hearing of the matter."
TREB supported CREA's application for intervenor status and was disappointed and surprised by the Commissioner's attempts to have CREA barred from participating in the proceedings. TREB believes that the Commissioner's application will adversely impact privacy rights of consumers across the country and have an extremely negative impact on the real estate industry in Canada.
Accordingly, since CREA owns and licenses the Multiple Listing Service® (MLS®) system that contains the private data of its Members' clients, and since CREA also owns the related REALTOR® trademark, CREA must be a participant in the proceedings before the Tribunal.
The Commissioner has applied to the Tribunal, seeking an order compelling TREB and its Members to violate their contractual and legal obligations to protect the private information of their clients by allowing such private information to be made available on the internet.