Realogy Holdings Corp.
- Company Name
- Realogy Holdings Corp.
- Stock Symbol
- Class Period
- February 24, 2017 to May 22, 2019
- Motion Deadline
- September 9, 2019
- District of New Jersey
The complaint charges Realogy and certain of its current and former officers with violations of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Realogy’s fully integrated business model includes brokerage, franchising, relocation, mortgage, and title and settlement services. Realogy provides independent sales agents access to leading technology, marketing and learning programs, and support services to help them become more productive and build stronger businesses. Realogy’s brands include Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, CENTURY 21, Climb Real Estate, Coldwell Banker, ERA and Sotheby's International Realty.
The complaint alleges that throughout the Class Period, defendants made false and misleading statements and/or failed to disclose adverse information regarding Realogy’s business and operations, including that Realogy had engaged in anticompetitive behavior by requiring property sellers to pay the commissions of a buyer's broker at an inflated rate, which would prompt the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) to open an antitrust investigation into the real estate industry's practices regarding brokers' commissions. As a result of this information being withheld from the market, Realogy securities traded at artificially inflated prices during the Class Period, with the Company’s stock price reaching a high of nearly $35 per share.
On March 11, 2019, The Real Deal published an article regarding a class action lawsuit that had been filed against several realtors, including Realogy, and the National Association of Realtors (“NAR”) alleging that they were violating antitrust laws “by conspiring to require home sellers to pay buyer’s broker’s commissions at inflated rates.” On this news, the price of Realogy shares fell nearly 2% to close at $12.07 per share on March 12, 2019. On April 18, 2019, it was reported that another class action had been filed “in protest of the buyer broker compensation rules set forth by the [NAR].” The price of Realogy shares fell over 4% on this news.
Then on May 22, 2019, the media reported that the DOJ had opened an investigation regarding antitrust practices in the real estate industry. Bloomberg reported that the DOJ was “investigating potentially anti-competitive practices in the residential real estate brokerage business, with a focus on compensation to brokers and restrictions on their access to listings.” According to Bloomberg, the probe was detailed in an investigative demand to CoreLogic Inc., a company that provides real estate data to government agencies, following the filing of the lawsuits “against the [NAR] and real estate broker franchisors, including Realogy Holdings Corp., [which allege] they conspired to prevent home sellers from negotiating commissions they pay to buyers’ agents.” On this news, the price of Realogy shares fell more than 9% over the next two trading days to close at $7.13 per share on May 23, 2019.