Antitrust: Price Fixing

Price Fixing

It is a per se violation for two or more brokers to agree, conspire, etc. regarding the amount that will be charged the public for their services.

  • Brokers and their agents should avoid any language that suggests that fees are the product of an agreement between brokers (i.e., the “prevailing rate”, the “standard” commission).
  • There is no prohibition against a broker advertising the rate of commission he charges the public.

Commission Splitting

  • The price fixing prohibition also applies to cooperative commissions that are offered to other brokers; two or more brokers cannot agree and should not discuss what they will pay to another broker(s).

Other Terms of Services/Compensation

  • Price fixing violations can be based on any agreement to fix or regulate any economic term.
  • Thus, brokers cannot agree to fix such terms in a listing as the length or type of listing or the form of compensation (i.e., flat fee v. commission).