19 Dec 2016

Real estate company fined $1m for price-fixing

2:17 pm on 19 December 2016

A Hamilton real-estate agency has been ordered to pay $1 million for unlawful price-fixing.

The Commerce Commission said Lugton's was one of five companies it filed proceedings against for agreeing on a planned response in Hamilton to Trade Me's changed pricing model.

Lugton's admitted it had agreed with the other defendants to pass on the cost of listing on Trade Me to vendors and to remove the vendors' existing listings.

In a judgement released today, Justice Heath said the agreement compromised the ability of vendors to negotiate a better price.

Last week Success Realty was ordered to pay $900,000, and a defended hearing is set down for next September for the other three agencies - Monarch, Lodge and Online Realty - and two individuals.