Lawyer says that ‘frightening’ news alarmed Toronto’s real estate board before it cut off broker

(Source: Toronto Star)

Toronto Real Estate Board executives were likely “frightened” by the prospect of telecom giant Bell Canada entering the real estate market and offering cheaper real estate commissions when they pulled the plug on a subsidiary’s access to the Multiple Listings Service, court has heard.

“I don’t envy executive members who sat on a conference call and heard what I am sure was a frightening situation,” said lawyer Randy Pepper to Justice David Brown in Ontario Superior Court of Justice in closing submissions yesterday. “They heard that Bell Canada was getting in the real estate business.”

Pepper’s client Fraser Beach was a partner with a subsidiary of Bell Canada offering discount real estate services in May of 2007, when the board blocked Beach’s access to its Multiple Listings Service three days after the website realestateplus.ca was launched. Without that access to homes listed for sale, the partnership could not continue. Beach’s website eventually was sold. The realtor is asking that TREB reinstate his membership.

Read Tony Wong’s full article “Bell ‘frightened’ real estate board, court hears” in the Toronto Star (June 30, 2009).

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