The Competition Bureau began pursuing a lawsuit against TREB in May for withholding sales data from consumers. Shortly after, in June, TREB announced that it would launch password protected Virtual Office Websites (VOW), which Realtors could use to give their clients data online. The competition commissioner, however, wanted TREB to release the online sales data to all consumes.
Aitken had sought to keep CREA out of her suit against the Toronto board, but the Competition Tribunal ruled Thursday that the case would have a national impact and, as a result, would affect CREA.
“The Tribunal’s ruling is likely to have precedential impact on the rules CREA may establish,” said the Tribunal, according to the Globe and Mail.
The Toronto board sent out a press release applauding the “right decision” made by the tribunal to allow the CREA to speak at the hearing.
“The commissioner wants to impose changes 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,” said Richard Silver, president of the TREB. “As a national association, CREA’s participation in the hearings before the tribunal is vital to a proper hearing of the matter.”
TREB also said in its press release that since CREA owns and licenses the Multiple Listings Service (MLS) system, and also owns the Realtor trademark, the national association had a stake in the decision as well.
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