Zillow has been making headlines lately after their acquisition of Trulia finally closed, but recently the Zillow Group has made headlines for a new reason – starting a legal battle to prevent losing syndicated listings, only days after deciding to terminate those same listings. While many agents and brokers have supported the cause, as a loss in listings could result in a loss of revenue, there’s a blatant sense of irony behind this decision which has many realtors leaning the other way.
Just two days after Zillow Group CEO Spencer Rascoff suggested that he was happy ListHub, which is owned by Zillow’s primary competitor, Move, will no longer be providing real estate listing data to Zillow because he believed the listings were “inferior,” the Zillow Group is going to court to try to keep those very listings on Trulia.
Zillow’s legal maneuvering comes one day after ListHub, which is owned by Move, which is owned by News Corp (NWS) and operates Realtor.com for the National Association of Realtors, informed Trulia that it is immediately terminating its listing agreement with Trulia, effective in five business days, meaning that any ListHub-provided listing on Trulia.com will disappear on Feb. 26.
But the Zillow Group apparently isn’t going to accept ListHub’s decision without a fight.
According to Trulia’s new president, Paul Levine, Zillow Group is “taking the necessary steps to obtain a temporary restraining order to ensure News Corp honors their contract with Trulia.”
The decision is a bit ironic, considering what Rascoff said just days before. “When we announced we were parting ways with News Corp, we were constrained on being reliant on a competitor for listings,” Rascoff said Wednesday morning. He said ListHub sent inferior listings to emphasize that Move’s Realtor.com had “higher quality listings.”
Unsurprisingly, the irony of the situation was not lost on Move, either.
“What a difference two days make! On Wednesday, Spencer Rascoff was celebrating the ‘liberating moment’ when ‘we announced we were parting ways with News Corp,’ and how they ‘were really freed from the constraint of being reliant on a competitor for listings,’ listings he (inaccurately) described as ‘inferior’,” Move said in a statement.
“Today, they say that the ‘sudden’ loss of those listings is ‘an incredible hardship for agents and consumers,'” Move continued. “What hasn’t changed is that realtor.com remains the best place for agents to find leads and consumers to find homes.”
Do you agree with Zillow that Move’s listings are inferior? Will the removal of these listings hurt agents and brokers? We’d love to hear your thoughts!
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