Zillow successfully opposes a request for a new trial in the REX consumer deception lawsuit.

Zillow  has successfully thwarted an attempt by discount home brokerage REX – Real Estate Exchange to secure a new trial in a Seattle federal lawsuit. U.S. District Judge Thomas Zilly, in a recent order, stated that REX failed to meet the burden required to overturn the jury’s verdict from September 29 after an eight-day trial. Attorneys from Boies Schiller Flexner, representing REX, accused Zillow of suppressing the brokerage’s home listings by relegating them to a secondary “other” tab on the website. REX had sought hundreds of millions of dollars in damages, alleging consumer deception and false advertising in the lead-up to the trial.

Positioning itself as a “disruptor,” REX aimed to provide consumers an opportunity to sell their homes with reduced commissions. The company specifically sought a retrial solely for its claim of unfair practices under Washington state’s consumer protection law. Judge Zilly emphasized that REX’s lack of success on this consumer protection claim was not due to any procedural shortcomings in the litigation or errors by the court. Instead, he stated that the jury’s verdict was fully supported by the record.

Attorneys representing REX did not promptly respond to a request for comment on Friday. Zillow, headquartered in Seattle, expressed satisfaction with the court’s decision in a statement, stating that the company would “move forward.”

Zillow consistently denied any wrongdoing and asserted that legitimate business considerations supported its website redesign, which included featuring some listings on a secondary tab rather than the default site for “agent” listings. The company argued that REX, established in 2015, ceased operations for reasons unrelated to Zillow’s business practices. Zillow’s attorneys contended that the two-tab display was specifically “designed to help consumers locate information regarding real estate listings on Zillow’s website.”

The jury determined that REX successfully demonstrated that Zillow violated a consumer protection law by placing REX’s home listings on a secondary page. However, the same panel also concluded that Zillow’s actions were “reasonable in relation to the development and preservation of its business,” as stated by the judge.

Before the trial, Zillow had already successfully countered other claims in the 2021 lawsuit, managing to convince the judge to dismiss accusations that it abused its market power in violation of U.S. antitrust provisions.

ArabMLS Founder

Ahmed Elbatrawy, who leads the Arab MLS platform, aims to simplify property transactions in the Middle East, paving the way for unprecedented global investment opportunities.

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