Canada’s top court has decided that it will not hear the appeal of a case regarding whether the Toronto Real Estate Board must provide access to certain listing information, such as the property’s last sale price and its time on the market.
Part of the reason why its being challenged is that TREB prohibits its members from posting historical data on their virtual office websites. Many real estate agents now have virtual offices, and are using the internet as their “hub”. If people ask for the information, often the real estate agents will provide it. However, as it stands, they cannot post it online for the world to see. The Federal Competition Commissioner has alleged this rule is anti-competitive.
In May 2011, the Competition Bureau filed an application with the competition tribunal to have the rule struck down. But the tribunal ruled against the bureau in April 2013, saying it had failed to prove its case.
TREB appealed the decision to the Federal Court of Appeal and won. In February, 2014, the federal court ordered a new tribunal hearing. TREB asked the Supreme Court to review the case, however, leave was denied.
So now it will be up to the new hearing at the federal appeal court.
What do you think? Should TREB be allowed to block its agents from posting historical data on their websites?