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Federal court of appeal overturns Competition Tribunal ruling on Toronto Real Estate Board case

Case referred back to Competition Tribunal

February 3, 2014 — OTTAWA, ON — Competition Bureau

The Federal Court of Appeal today overturned the Competition Tribunal’s decision on the Toronto Real Estate Board matter issued on April 15, 2013, stating that the Tribunal misinterpreted the abuse of dominance provisions of the Competition Act and that the Tribunal must reconsider the Commissioner of Competition’s application on its merits.

The Bureau’s appeal was based on its position that the Tribunal's ruling was based on an overly narrow interpretation of the Competition Act — the abuse of dominance provision. The Tribunal originally ruled that TREB, as an incorporated trade association, does not compete with its own members in the real estate brokerage market and therefore cannot be found to have contravened the abuse of dominance provision.

Quick facts

  • The Bureau originally filed an appeal with the Federal Court of Appeal on May 14, 2013, seeking to overturn the Competition Tribunal's ruling in the Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) matter.
  • With more than 35,000 members, TREB is the largest real estate board in Canada. It owns and operates the Toronto Multiple Listing Service system, which contains current property listings and historical information about residential real estate purchases and sales in Toronto and the surrounding area.

Quote

"I am pleased with the Federal Court of Appeal’s decision to refer our application back to the Competition Tribunal. The Competition Bureau will continue to fight to promote innovation in the marketplace to the benefit of Canadian consumers."

John Pecman, Commissioner of Competition

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