(AmericanProsperity.com) – According to a Daily Caller November 1 report, court filings revealed that a Missouri federal jury found a powerful group of realtors guilty of conspiring to inflate real estate commissions. The court records also showed that the jury ordered each of these companies to pay nearly $2 billion in damages.
The jury documents pointed out that the alleged collusion started in 2015 and ended in 2022. Some of the major real estate groups that were accused include Home Service of America, LLC, BBH Affiliates, the National Association of Realtors, and others. As reported by Reuters, the jury documents granted the class plaintiffs a sum of $1,785,310,872. These plaintiffs represent the sellers of more than 260,000 homes in Kansas, Illinois, and Missouri.
According to CBS News, the verdict was reached after 12 days of trial. Lead lawyer for the plaintiffs Michael Ketchmark told the media outlet he expects his clients to be awarded over $5 billion over the next few months, given the possibility of US antitrust law tripling the award. He also explained that his clients feel vindicated as he claimed that the National Association of Realtors has been using its “market power” to establish control on home ownership “for the longest time.”
Different media outlets reported that some real estate franchises have already said they will appeal the verdict. The National Association of Realtor’s vice president of communications Mantill Williams told Axios it will take many years before the case “is finally resolved.” Meanwhile, a Keller Williams’ spokesman told CBS News in an email that “this is not the end,” and noted that the company will appeal.
In another email, a Home Service of America’s spokesperson told the media outlet that the jury’s decision was a “burden” for buyers, as they will now have “more obstacles” in a “challenging” real estate market. The spokesperson added that sellers will also be affected, as it will be more difficult for them to properly obtain their homes’ value.
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