Move Inc. sues CoStar, claiming stolen information parent accuses parent of illegally accessing documents, data

Move Inc. Sues CoStar Group Over Alleged Theft
Move Inc CEO Damien Eales and CoStar CEO Andy Florance (LinkedIn, CoStar)

The battle between residential real estate’s biggest listing platforms is heading to federal court. 

Move Inc. is suing CoStar Group over allegedly stolen trade secrets, according to a complaint filed earlier this week and first reported by HousingWire. Move Inc. is the parent company of, which competes with, one of CoStar Group’s subsidiaries. 

The lawsuit alleges that one of’s former employees, James Kaminsky, illegally accessed the company’s proprietary information and shared it with his new employer,, to aid the platform in its recent push for market share

“Competitors should never be allowed to cheat and steal to get ahead,” the complaint states. 

Kaminsky, now an editor at CoStar, led’s news and insights team for nine years before he left the firm in January. 

The lawsuit, which seeks damages and a jury trial, alleges that Kaminsky’s new role includes overseeing writers who are creating a product similar to’s, which the company claims is at the center of its marketing strategy. 

In the complaint, Move Inc. claims that Kaminsky “established surreptitious, undetected ongoing access” to the company’s internal system to “spy on Move’s highly confidential documents.” These documents include’s future story ideas, user traffic metrics, contact lists and a list of’s employees and their compensation, among others. 

Sign Up for the undefined Newsletter

“The employee in question is a mid-level manager who writes and edits stories about condos. Safe to say he has zero input into’s strategy,” CoStar’s general counsel Gene Boxer told HousingWire in an email. “This is a PR stunt that is already backfiring.”

The lawsuit comes after CoStar rolled out a $1 billion advertising campaign for, including three Super Bowl commercials. The marketing blitz is part of the company’s quest to boost its traffic to compete with residential listing giant, Zillow. 

So far, CoStar claims its spend is paying off. The firm reported that unique monthly visitors to nearly tripled in March compared to the same month last year. 

“The most important news is that the early indications of the investment is working,” CoStar CEO Andy Florance said on the firm’s first quarter earnings call. “We are building the brand, and we are monetizing the site. We believe that before too long, will be our largest revenue business in the portfolio.”

In the last few months, Move Inc. has pushed back against’s claims that it unseated and Redfin as the second most visited platform, behind Zillow. The company claims that third party data platforms such as Comscore and Similar Web show as the No. 2 site in terms of traffic. 

“By every independent third-party measure, is last among the top four,” the complaint states.

Read more

CoStar Claims Record Returns on $1B Resi Bet
CoStar says $1B bet on is paying off
Resi Firms Bet On AI
Resi firms push AI announcements as Q1 losses abound CEO Damian Eales Wants to Dethrone Zillow
“Second pisses me off”: boss goes on the offensive
Recommended For You