UPDATE: Federal appeals court rules real estate agents must make data public
The Federal Court of Appeal has upheld a previous decision by the Competition Tribunal ruling that the Toronto Real Estate Board must allow its realtor members to make home sales data publicly available online.
The ruling against Canada's largest real estate board is expected to have widespread ramifications and affect how other real estate boards provide services to customers on the internet.
Last April, the Competition Tribunal ruled that the Toronto Real Estate Board prevented competition and stifled digital innovation by prohibiting its realtor members from posting sales data on their websites.
The Commissioner of Competition argued that TREB's rules restricted the ability of realtors to introduce innovative real estate brokerage services online, denying consumers the benefits of greater competition, such as lower prices.
The tribunal also said TREB must provide data such as sales figures, pending sales and broker commissions, which it does not currently disclose.
TREB later appealed the decision and argued that publishing sensitive data such as the price a home is sold for would violate consumers' privacy.