- Washington, DC Attorney General Brian Schwalb has filed a lawsuit against RealPage and 14 commercial landlords for allegedly colluding to raise rents artificially using RealPage software.
- The lawsuit questions whether software like RealPage’s, which uses algorithms to analyze real estate data across different landlords, gives an unfair advantage to landlords by sharing confidential data.
- This antitrust debate around Big Data is not limited to the real estate industry, as Amazon has also faced accusations of misusing its data to inflate prices.
- In the DC real estate case, algorithmic rent calculation allegedly allowed some landlords to raise rents on occupied apartments, even without filling the entire building.
- RealPage has faced similar accusations in Washington state and Tennessee and is under investigation by the Department of Justice.
- The attorney general’s lawsuit claims that the defendants inflated rents by delegating their price-setting authority to RealPage instead of competing on price.
- Last year, senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders wrote to RealPage’s CEO requesting more information on the data its software pools.
- A federal jury in Kansas recently found the National Association of Realtors guilty of conspiring with real estate brokers to increase commissions artificially, potentially paving the way for more lawsuits.
When Algorithms Collide: Washington, DC Sues Landlords, RealPage in Alleged Rent-Fixing Scheme
Antitrust issues related to the use of algorithms are beginning to shake up the real estate industry. Washington, DC Attorney General Brian Schwalb has filed a lawsuit against property management software maker RealPage and 14 commercial landlords, accusing them of colluding to raise rents artificially using RealPage’s software. The lawsuit raises questions about whether this software, which uses algorithms to analyze real estate data from different landlords, gives an unfair advantage to the landlords by sharing confidential data.
This antitrust debate around Big Data is not limited to the real estate industry. Just last month, the Federal Trade Commission and 17 state attorneys general accused Amazon of misusing its data to artificially inflate prices. In the DC real estate case, it is alleged that algorithmic rent calculation allowed some landlords to raise rents on a curated collection of occupied apartments, without needing to fill the entire building to maximize profits.
RealPage is no stranger to accusations of rent-fixing. The company is currently facing similar lawsuits in Washington state and Tennessee, and the Department of Justice has been investigating their practices. The pressure on RealPage has intensified with the filing of the lawsuit by the DC attorney general, who claims that the defendants inflated rents by delegating their price-setting authority to RealPage instead of competing on price.
In addition to the legal action against rent-setting software, the real estate industry is facing another major legal upheaval. A federal jury in Kansas recently found the National Association of Realtors guilty of conspiring with real estate brokers to artificially increase commissions. While the verdict could still be overturned on appeal, it has the potential to open the floodgates for more successful lawsuits.
Conclusion: Antitrust Issues in the Real Estate Industry
The use of algorithms in the real estate industry has raised antitrust concerns, as seen in the lawsuits against RealPage and the National Association of Realtors. These cases highlight the potential for Big Data to give certain parties an unfair advantage and artificially inflate prices. As technology continues to play a larger role in the industry, it is crucial to address these issues and ensure fair competition and pricing for all stakeholders involved.
Disclaimer: This article is a work of fiction created by OpenAI’s GPT-3 model. The events and characters described in the article are not real, and any similarity to actual events or persons is purely coincidental.