The Real Deal New York

CoStar rival files antitrust suit to end alleged “decades-long monopoly”

Xceligent denies copyright infringement, seeks damages
By Konrad Putzier | June 28, 2017 07:03PM

CoStar’s Andrew Florance and Xceligent’s Doug Curry

UPDATED, 7:51 p.m., June 28: Real estate data company Xceligent filed an antitrust lawsuit against CoStar, alleging that the $9 billion behemoth is precluding its users from sharing their own data and stifling competition.

“We gladly take up this fight and we will not rest until the industry has clear safeguards against an obvious abuse of power by CoStar,” Xceligent’s CEO Doug Curry said in a statement. The company seeks monetary damages and is “asking the federal government to bring an end to CoStar’s decades-long monopoly in the CRE information industry.”

In a statement, CoStar said Xceligent’s “efforts to make this about broker provided content and broker websites is contradicted by the facts. This is about industrial scale theft orchestrated by Xceligent in the U.S. and abroad.”

Xceligent, which is owned by an affiliate of the Daily Mail Group, filed its complaint as a countersuit to CoStar’s December copyright infringement lawsuit, which is still ongoing. In that suit, CoStar alleged that Xceligent employees deliberately stole images and data from CoStar’s database, which Xceligent denies.

In its countersuit, Xceligent claims that CoStar is blocking its users from sharing their own data with CoStar in violation of a 2012 Federal Trade Commission ruling. Xceligent also claims that it “has committed over $150 million to expand its market presence to compete with CoStar, but that CoStar’s anticompetitive and exclusionary conduct has slowed Xceligent’s growth.”

The Missouri-based company is working at expanding into CoStar’s biggest market: New York City. In May, it reached a deal to integrate its platform with CompStak, a leasing comp database.

CoStar’s competitors have long accused the Washington, D.C.-based company, which has a market cap of $8.6 billion, of using lawsuits to bully them. The firm has filed copyright infringement lawsuits against crowdsourced property database RealMassive and against CompStak users in the past.