The battle between Move and Zillow Group over Truliaâ€™s listings continued this week, with a California judge granting Zillow Groupâ€™s request Monday for a temporary restraining order, requiring Move-owned ListHub to continue providing listing data to Trulia until at least March 12.
Last week was a busy one for the two portal giantsâ€”Move, owned by News Corp and operators of realtor.comÂ®, and Zillow Group, which includes recently (officially) acquired Trulia. On Friday, Move announced its listing management service, ListHub, was ending its syndication agreement with Trulia as of this Thursday, Feb. 26â€”much earlier than the original syndication agreement end date of June 2016.
Firing back Friday, Zillow Group announced it had filed for a temporary restraining order on that to keep ListHubâ€™s listings flowing to Trulia, with Trulia President Paul Levine stating the early termination would cause â€śan incredible hardship for agents and consumers,â€ť and that while â€śdirect data feeds are best for everyone, and we are committed to helping brokers, agents and MLSs transition to a direct feed to Trulia, but they deserve to do so in an orderly way.â€ť
This week on Monday, Judge Ernest H. Goldsmith of the San Francisco Superior Court set a date of March 12, 2015 for a hearing on Zillow Groupâ€™s application for a permanent injunction against ListHub’s plans to stop supplying listings to Trulia due to Zillow’s acquisition of Trulia.Â As part of Mondayâ€™s ruling, ListHub will continue to provide Trulia with listings, at least through the date of the hearing.
In a statement sent to RISMedia, Levine said on Mondayâ€™s ruling, â€śThe courtâ€™s order is a win for brokers, agents and the home sellers they represent. Since News Corp announced its decision on Friday to prematurely cut off the listing feed to Trulia, weâ€™ve received an influx of calls from MLSs and brokers who were concerned that they and their clients wouldnâ€™t be able to effectively market their listings ahead of the home shopping season. Weâ€™re very pleased with this preliminary decision, and hopeful the court will grant us the further time necessary to make this transition in an orderly way.â€ť
The company statement on the ruling from Move Tuesday said, â€śWe look forward to another ‘liberating moment’ for Zillow on March 12, when we will have the opportunity to make our full case in court.Â In the meantime, we are happy to continue supplying the industryâ€™s best data.”
The liberating moment reference relates to a comment reportedly made by Rascoff following the completion of the Trulia acquisition on Feb. 18, where he stated: â€śWhen we announced we were parting ways with News Corp, we were constrained on being reliant on a competitor for listings.â€ť He said ListHub sent inferior listings to emphasize that Moveâ€™s Realtor.com had â€śhigher quality listings.â€ť
The gloves have increasingly been coming off between the two portal giants since the announcement of the acquisition. Reporting changed from statements on their mutual competition being viewed as a win for consumers to agreement terminations, restraining orders, and having their day in court.
Catch up on the latest developments this past Friday here. And stay tuned to RISMedia for the next installment.