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Illustration by Lanette Behiry/Real Estate News; Shutterstock

Major MLSs reach settlement in lawsuit over NAR policy 

CRMLS, Bright MLS and MRED have reached an agreement with ThePLS.com over Clear Cooperation rules, leaving NAR as the only remaining defendant.

January 25, 2024
2 minutes

Three of the nation's largest MLSs have reached a "settlement in principle" to end their involvement in a lawsuit challenging NAR's Clear Cooperation policy.

The California Regional MLS, Bright MLS and MRED asked the court for a stay of deadlines in the case so they can finalize the deal, according to a Jan. 24 filing.

NAR, however, is not a part of the agreement with ThePLS.com, which originally filed suit in 2020. That case is moving forward after a favorable ruling from the Supreme Court last year

What is this lawsuit about? ThePLS.com launched in 2017 with a focus on pocket listings, highlighting properties that sellers did not necessarily want published on the MLS.

Then in 2019, NAR launched its Clear Cooperation policy, which requires MLS participants to share publicly marketed listings with the MLS within 24 hours. The PLS.com fought back in court, claiming that the Clear Cooperation policy is clearly anticompetitive.

What do the players have to say? Bright MLS said it will offer a comment on Friday. CRMLS, MRED, NAR and representatives for ThePLS.com have not yet replied to requests for comment.

A new connection between this case and NAR: Celebrity agent Mauricio Umansky, who helped found ThePLS.com, is also a co-founder of the newly launched American Real Estate Association, billed as an alternative to NAR.

AREA plans to offer access to listings via the National Listing Service, as ThePLS.com is now known. TheNLS.com does not currently offer comprehensive national listings and it is not clear how it would do so.

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