CCI dismisses charges against 5 realty websites
The Confederation of Real Estate Brokers' Association of India — with around 20,000 members — had also filed the complaint against 99acres.com, Commonfloor.com and Nobroker.in.
After finding that the five entities are not dominant in the relevant market, the fair trade regulator decided to reject the allegations made against them. For the case, the CCI considered 'the services of real estate brokers / agents in India' as the relevant market.
The main allegation was that these websites are monopolising the real estate broking business in India by adopting a 'no brokerage policy' because of which traditional brokers are losing their business. Generally, traditional brokers charge about 2 per cent of the sale / purchase value of a property as brokerage fee. "... presence of a large number of listing sites and traditional brokers in the said relevant market poses competitive restraint on each other and hence, no specific player can act independently of the market forces and affect the consumers or other players in its favour," CCI.
According to the watchdog, since no licence is required to undertake the brokerage business in the real estate sector, there are a number of players operating, both through online and off-line channels. Besides, CCI considered the website ranking figures by a portal to check whether the entities concerned are dominant in the relevant market or not.
In the absence of dominance of any of the entities in the relevant market, the CCI said it is of the view that there is no case of violating Competition Act's Section 4 — which pertains to abuse of dominant position. PTI