The PLS.com and three of the nation’s largest multiple listing services have reached a settlement agreement in their ongoing legal battle. According to court documents filed on Wednesday, The PLS.com (the “P” stands for property and not pocket), has reached a settlement agreement with Bright MLS, Midwest Real Estate Data and California Regional Multiple Listing Service.
The fourth defendant in the suit, the National Association of Realtors, is not included in the settlement agreement. As of Thursday morning, the details of the settlement have not yet been disclosed.
Originally filed in May 2020, the lawsuit takes aim at NAR’s ban on pocket listings. The plaintiff claimed that the ban takes away agents’ marketing choices, and they alleged that the requirement for listing brokers to submit a listing to their MLS within one business day of marketing a property to the public violates the federal Sherman Antitrust Act.
In addition, the suit argued that if there was competition for the MLSs it would result in cascading “lower costs,” starting with the fees MLSs charge agents. The original lawsuit was dismissed in Feb. 2021, but The PLS.com appealed to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, catching the eye of the Department of Justice, which relaunched its probe into NAR in July of 2021, leading to a separate legal battle between the DOJ and the trade group.
The PLS.com was founded in 2017 by Mauricio Umansky, David Barnes, James Harris and Christopher Dyson. In 2021, the site, which showcases listings nationwide, rebranded to The NLS.com.
On Tuesday, Umansky, along with Compass luxury agent Jason Haber, launched an agent trade group alternative to NAR, the American Real Estate Association. In their announcement, Umansky and Haber noted that The NLS.com would serve as the listing platform for the new trade group.
The defendants did not return a request for comment.