Virtual websites ‘no fix’ for competition concerns

TREB and the Competition Bureau are still battling over what information is released to the public.

The Star’s Susan Pigg has an update on the discussions:

The Toronto Real Estate Board’s recent decision to provide more online access to MLS listings through new Virtual Office Websites is “no fix” for its anti-competitive practices, Ottawa’s competition watchdog says.

Instead, TREB continues to “distract” from its real aim — protecting traditional real estate agents from new online competition — with “meritless arguments about privacy concerns and intellectual property,” says Greg Scott, a spokesperson for the Competition Commissioner.

Competition watchdog Melanie Aitken filed her latest salvo Friday in the escalating war of words with Canada’s largest real estate board. And TREB fired right back, accusing Aitken of making comments that are “misguided and inaccurate” and ignoring privacy concerns.

Thursday the Canadian Real Estate Association, which represents more than 100,000 agents across the country, also jumped into the fray, saying it has trademark rights to MLS listings and wants to ensure any changes protect their high standards.

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