April 9, 2010 - 19:41 TORONTO - The federal competition watchdog accused Canada's real estate industry Friday of threatening to ban brokers who attempt to offer a range of services from using its popular Multiple Listing Service.
The Competition Bureau's allegations came in its latest reply as part of its ongoing case against the Canadian Real Estate Association, the group that represents some 98,000 Canadian real estate brokers.
"In cases where small-scale entry by alternative business models has occurred, CREA and its members have disciplined such entrants, exploiting the barriers CREA has erected through its rule-making and rule-enforcing powers," it said.
Unless CREA and its members are restrained by an order from the Competition Tribunal, the bureau says they "will continue to have the incentive, the opportunity and the ability to enact and enforce MLS restrictions that prevent or will likely prevent competition substantially."
Read complete story here: Competition watchdog fires new allegations against real estate association - Sunny Freeman, THE CANADIAN PRESS
The Competition Bureau rejected changes made by CREA last month to clarify its rules, saying the changes don't guarantee more choice for consumers.
The bureau said in its reply Friday that those amendments to the MLS rules extend CREA's control over realtors and the rules are intended to maintain command over real estate services offered in Canada.
You know this is absolute bureaucratic BS, and it really p's me off!
REALTORS® offering alternative or cheaper services to the market is not an issue, and competition continues to flourish.
The rules are intended to maintain control over the accuracy, quality and reliability of the information posted to protect the interest of the general public.
In a wide open arena where there is less rules and controls, the consumer will be at the mercy of every scam artist, as has been happening on existing open sites. These activities are so much of a threat to Canadians that the Competition Bureau posted another reminder on April 6, 2010: Beware of Internet Scammers.
And what about the money-laundering and funding of terrorism? I guess they don't care because it's not their jurisdiction.
A short-sighted Competition Bureau fails to see the consequences of what they are proposing. They want the integrity of the system removed regardless of the added risk such stupidity would impose on the public.
That's like saying we don't need a Competition Bureau to protect the public interest; hmm, maybe we don't?