Top Republicans in the House and Senate antitrust subcommittees want the FTC to dig into Zillow’s plans to buy a home-showing scheduling platform amid concerns about competition in the residential real estate market.
Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.) and Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) sent a letter on Thursday to the FTC that raises antitrust questions related to the residential real estate industry and specifically Zillow Group’s pending $500 million acquisition of ShowingTime. Axios first reported the news.
The letter highlights the growing antitrust scrutiny on tech giants in various industries and is the latest antitrust-related criticism facing Seattle-based Zillow.
Zillow announced in February that it will pay $500 million to acquire ShowingTime, a Chicago-based real estate company that sells software to facilitate home showings.
Related: Zillow Faces Private Antitrust Suit
The Republican lawmakers say the deal, which is still pending, “may further entrench Zillow’s consumer information advantage to the detriment of homebuyers and their competitors.”
The letter cites Zillow’s home buying business and its Zestimate property valuation tool, in addition to other acquisitions including purchases of Dotloop, Bridge Interactive, StreetEasy, and nakedapartments.
“While the consumer experience might benefit from certain technological innovations in the real estate industry, antitrust enforcers should be vigilant to ensure that a competitive environment is maintained and the online real estate industry does not become overly consolidated in the hands of a dominant platform to the detriment of competition and consumers,” the letter reads.
“Key to our mission is our work to modernize the real estate transaction — which has been notoriously resistant to consumer-friendly change over the decades. By building an open and equitable service which is available to all agents and brokers, which will include ShowingTime, we are helping move the industry towards a more efficient, digital future that works to benefit consumers,” a Zillow spokesperson said in a statement.
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Republicans Want FTC Zillow