June 20th, 2024

Competition Bureau investigating Quebec real estate org’s data sharing restrictions

By The Canadian Press on February 20, 2023.

A woman walks by a house for sale in Montreal, Friday, March 4, 2022. The Competition Bureau says it is investigating whether the Quebec Professional Association for Real Estate Brokers’s data sharing restrictions are stifling competition in the housing market. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes

GATINEAU, Que. – The Competition Bureau says it is investigating whether the Quebec Professional Association for Real Estate Brokers’ data sharing restrictions are stifling competition in the housing market.

The watchdog says it is looking into whether QPAREB has engaged in practices that harm competition or that prevent the development of innovative online brokerage services in Quebec.

The bureau says it obtained a court order last week requiring the organization to hand over information related to the effects of its practices and the reason for its data restrictions.

The bureau has yet to find any wrongdoing so far, but its investigation is ongoing.

QPAREB manages a multiple listing service that collects Quebec real estate transaction data and makes it available to its broker members.

The bureau previously waged a seven-year court battle against the Toronto Regional Real Estate Board, which ended in 2018 with the housing organization forced to allow home sales data to be made available to the public on brokers’ password-protected websites.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 20, 2022.

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