Those involved in three pending court cases are closely watching the Competition Bureau’s application to the Competition Tribunal – all involving Lawrence Dale, Realtysellers and related business models. Dale confirmed to REM in April that a $750 million lawsuit, filed but not served in October, has now been served against Toronto Real Estate Board (TREB) officials and members, as well as a number of other individuals, including senior executives from Royal LePage and Re/Max Ontario-Atlantic Canada. This $750 million lawsuit alleges breach of contract and actions contrary to the Competition Act, on behalf of plaintiffs Dale and his Realtysellers co-founder Stephen Moranis, as well as Toronto real estate broker Fraser Beach.
Meanwhile, an earlier lawsuit for $100 million on behalf of the same plaintiffs is pending trial – this lawsuit was served in September on CREA, TREB and a number of related association and board officers. Dale and fellow plaintiffs are also appealing a December 7, 2010 Ontario Superior Court ruling that TREB was justified in suspending access to its MLS database to Fraser Beach, who was operating a discount brokerage website.
This appeal, and the two other lawsuits, likely won’t be heard before mid- to late 2011, well after any tribunal hearing is expected to be held.