29 Nov 2016

Real estate firm fined $1.25m for price-fixing

4:15 pm on 29 November 2016

A Manawatu real estate company has been ordered to pay $1.25 million for price-fixing.

An auction sign outside a house for sale in Auckland.

At least 11 real estate agencies were involved in the price-fixing agreement, a judge has found. Photo: RNZ / Claire Eastham-Farrelly

Manawatu 1994, which trades under the LJ Hooker name, is the second company in the region to appear in court after reaching a settlement with the Commerce Commission admitting it breached the ban on price-fixing in the Commerce Act.

The commission filed proceedings against the company in December last year, alleging it and other agencies had agreed with each other that they would get vendors to pay the cost of listing their properties on Trade Me.

It has been fined $1.25m in the High Court in Auckland.

In his ruling, Justice Gilbert said at least 11 real estate agencies were involved in the price-fixing agreement, which had the potential to affect a large number of consumers.

Unique Realty was fined a similar amount in May.