April 16, 2013 -- On April 15, the Competition Tribunal announced that it has dismissed an Application initiated by the Commissioner of Competition against the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB), and ordered costs payable by the Commissioner of Competition to TREB.
The Competition Tribunal stated that its decision is based on its finding that the Toronto Real Estate Board was clearly not acting anti-competitively.
“The Tribunal’s decision was the right decision,” said Ann Hannah, President of TREB. “TREB and its Members will continue to offer the highest possible quality real estate service without sacrificing the privacy rights of consumers.”
This is a substantive decision which unequivocally allows TREB to continue with its current Virtual Office Website (VOW) policy. These VOWs allow consumers to access REALTOR® Members’ secure password-protected websites displaying MLS® listing data. TREB is increasing access and competition while safeguarding the privacy rights of consumers.
Throughout the hearings, TREB stood up for the privacy rights of consumers and will continue to do so. The result reinforces that protecting privacy is not anti-competitive.
“TREB fought against the Competition Bureau’s actions that would have forced TREB to dismantle the safeguards of the MLS® system,” said Von Palmer, Chief Privacy Officer.
“TREB and its Members have a moral and legal obligation to protect consumers’ personal information. Privacy matters, so we fought back.”
TREB appreciates the efforts and support of The Canadian Real Estate Association on the matter.
TREB is committed to protecting the quality of the MLS® system and the superior service TREB Members offer their clients while safeguarding the privacy rights of consumers.