David McLaughlin vs HomeLight is an interesting legal action, for some reason, was incorrectly filed under the 15 U.S.C. § 1125 (Lanham Act claim for false advertising.) I randomly stumbled on this case recently, doing my research.
This case was correctly dismissed because the damages under the Lanham Act are not a substitute for damages under the Sherman Act.
Today, every honest #Realtor in the US, legitimate #marketplaces, and #consumers hold claims, valued in tens of billions USD, against every single “shell” entity that operates by means of broker-to-broker collusion.
HomeLight is just the tip of the iceberg.
These claims must be filed under a different law, however:
15 U.S.C. §1 — Trusts, etc., in restraint of trade illegal;
12 U.S.C. §2607 — Prohibition against kickbacks and unearned fees;
12 C.F.R. §1024.14 — Prohibition against kickbacks and unearned fees;
Business and Professions Code §17200 et seq.
15 U.S.C. §45 — Unfair methods of competition unlawful.
HomeLight is one of the largest broker-to-broker collusion scams in the modern history of real estate, conducted across all 50 states and Washington, DC with the use of the Internet. Wire fraud is a federal crime that involves any scheme to defraud another person or party by means of electronic communication. This scam is taking place in the middle of the housing affordability crisis and it deprives consumers of tens of thousands in properly negotiated commissions on each home sale or a home purchase conducted via HomeLight “shell” brokerage. In the HomeLight scam, tens of thousands of Realtors no longer compete for consumers with savings, instead, they compete for HomeLight’s “black box” placement with tens of thousands in pre-negotiated kickbacks on a “blanket” agreement basis.
#antitrust #realestate #kickbacks #collusion #proptech #advertisinglaw #LanhamAct #UCL #ShermanAct #FTCAct U.S. Department of Justice Federal Trade Commission Consumer Financial Protection Bureau