Competition Bureau talking points
• CREA learned today that the Bureau filed a Notice of Application with the Tribunal.
• CREA views the Commissioner's decision as surprising and disappointing.
• We do not agree with the Bureau's position that certain CREA rules are anti-competitive, either as a matter of fact or as a matter of law.
• CREA's rules allow for innovative business models and a broad range of choice for consumers.
• CREA engaged in settlement negotiations with the Competition Bureau in a good faith effort to try to arrive at a consensual resolution. Unfortunately the parties were unable to reach an agreement. This is very disappointing, since CREA has consistently indicated - right from the outset - that it has always been prepared to work with the Competition Bureau to revise its rules and to clarify the way the rules operate.
• CREA Directors have recommended for approval at CREA's March AGM certain changes to CREA's Three Pillars and Interpretations, which we believe clarify - through improved language - the Pillars and Interpretations.
• In making these clarifications on a proactive basis, CREA believes that we are fully addressing the Competition Bureau's concerns, while ensuring the accuracy and quality of MLS® information that Canadians have come to trust and REALTOR® compliance with a code of ethics.
• The Commissioner states that CREA's rules restrict consumer choice and prevent innovative business models. That is simply false. CREA is disappointed that the Bureau would make this statement in view of the months of discussions about CREA's rules and CREA's consistent position that its rules are not intended to and do not restrict any business models.
The real estate industry in Canada is highly competitive. CREA currently has more than 98,000 members operating independently across the country who are competing for business and offering a wide array of services and pricing structures. All any consumer has to do is ask around to quickly confirm the range of price options and services offered by REALTORS®.
• CREA does not tell REALTORS® how to run their businesses or what fees or commissions to charge. Members of the public choose with whom they want to work and negotiate the terms (services and fees) of the relationship with their REALTOR®.
• CREA's interest and that of its members is to ensure consumers have choice, that they are protected during one of the most significant transactions they will undertake, and that the integrity of the MLS® system is preserved for the benefit of REALTORS® and the Canadian public