Whenever a VC invests into a scheme that violates Section 1 of the Sherman Antitrust Act:
(1) Can (and should?) the VC be held criminally liable for the allocation of capital that works to restrain free trade?
(2) Can (and should?) the government hold the VC criminally liable for damages under the current US law?
These two very difficult questions must, at some point, become the premise of antitrust reform by the US Congress, if anything, to prevent companies like Landed from targeting teachers and first responders in the US housing markets.
Landed works to scam some of the most hard-working essential professionals.
This scam is one of the least scalable out there (compared to that of HomeLight or Opcity schemes) but it is one of the more damaging because it claims to solve a home affordability problem by abusing that same exact problem that makes homes less affordable — kickbacks.
Consumers using Landed simply do not realize that they are losing tens of thousands and not saving anything, unless they happen to find and read my review for the brokerage here.
The one true solution to the housing affordability is for the DOJ, FTC and CFPB to dismantle broker-to-broker collusion schemes and restore competitive forces in the housing sector.
Radical antitrust reform requires a large number of legal barriers for consumer allocation, price fixing, tying, and market allocation practices openly scaled on the Internet. The heads must roll. It should not be profitable for any VC to invest into a real estate scam and walk away from it.
At the same time, the antitrust laws cannot restrain Free Speech and the government must allow for businesses, including those that are highly successful, to publish information and make decisions within our firms however we wish. Telling companies what and how we must publish information us not the job of our government.
The act of collusion requires two separate entities to agree on something, in this case, random Realtors agree to collude with Landed in exchange for commission kickbacks between them. Are investors liable as much as the founders here? Are the investors simply duped same as consumers? It depends when you ask them. This VC thinks Landed is the best thing ever! This dynamic will only change once damages are trebled.
In the meantime, our nurses and teachers are sold into a very expensive lie.
I recently checked with Chan Zuckerberg Initiative to see if they still support Landed but they did not comment. I think Terner Center for Housing Innovation had a relationship with them at some point as well.
Maybe they will come to the defend this model? Doubt it. They must know better now, yet continue to silently condone the scheme by affiliation.
#realestate #antitrust #ecommerce #affordablehousing #kickbacks #collusion #realtors #homebuying #homeequity #shermanact #respa #ftcact