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Commission to file Notice of Appeal against Hamilton real estate price fixing decision

24 November 2017

The Commerce Commission intends to file a Notice of Appeal against the High Court’s decision to dismiss the Commission’s case against two real estate agencies and their directors for price fixing.

Last month, the High Court dismissed the case against Lodge and its director Jeremy O’Rourke, and Monarch (trading as Harcourts Hamilton) and its director Brian King. The Commission alleged they were part of an anti-competitive price fixing agreement with other Hamilton real estate agencies in relation to Trade Me changing its property listing fee.

Commission Chair Dr Mark Berry said the High Court judgment raises significant legal issues that merit an appeal in this case.

The Notice of Appeal will be filed in the Court of Appeal in Wellington.

The Commission is unable to comment further while the appeal is before the Court.    

Background

In December 2015, the Commission filed proceedings in the High Court at Auckland for alleged price fixing and anti-competitive behaviour by 13 national and regional real estate agencies, a company owned by a number of national real estate agencies, and three individuals. The Commission also issued warnings to an additional eight agencies for their role in the conduct.  

Details about the proceedings for the other defendants in this case are available on our website.