Nantucket Real Estate Group Resolves Unfair Competition Claims

BB_Nantucket_WelcometoNantucketSign_Summer2015NANTUCKET – The Nantucket Association of Real Estate Brokers will resolve allegations that their membership requirements are unfairly excluding competitors from the market on the island.

The Massachusetts Attorney General’s office says the organization’s policies, including high initiation fees, requiring members to have a physical office on the island, and “potentially pretextual community involvement” requirements are in violation of the state’s consumer protection and antitrust laws.

“Competition is important to our markets and helps to ensure better results for consumers,” said Attorney General Maura Healey. “Organizations should not use membership rules or requirements to limit competitors where there is no basis to do so.”

The Association operates a listing service with details of the majority of real estate listings on the island, according to the AG’s office. Without access to this service, competitors have been essentially shut out of the Nantucket market, officials with the office’s antitrust division allege. 

In an agreement with state officials, the Nantucket Association of Real Estate Brokers will allow brokers who do not have an office on the island to join under certain requirements and will reduce initiation fees for new members from $5,000 to $500. The organization will also eliminate the community involvement membership requirement. 

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