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Realcomp II, Ltd. v. FTC

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
635 F.3d 815 (2011)


Facts

Realcomp II, Limited (Realcomp) (plaintiff) was an association of local real estate agents and brokers. Realcomp maintained a database of property listings for its paying members. Realcomp allowed some listings to be distributed on public real estate websites but prohibited the publication of limited-service listings such as exclusive agency (EA) listings. Limited-service brokers provided fewer services and were generally less expensive for consumers than full-service brokers, with whom they competed for listings. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) (defendant) brought an antitrust enforcement action against Realcomp. Realcomp did not dispute a finding that it had substantial market power in the relevant market. The FTC found under both a quick-look analysis and a rule-of-reason analysis that Realcomp’s website policy had the potential for genuine anticompetitive effects in violation of § 5 of the FTC Act. In addition, the FTC’s expert economist, Dr. Darrell Williams, used time-series, benchmark, and statistical-regression analyses to conclude that Realcomp’s website policy had actual anticompetitive effects. Realcomp petitioned for review of the FTC’s decision.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Moore, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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