Hamptons listing system, brokerages under investigation

George Simpson

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Top Hamptons residential real estate brokerages have become the target of a U.S. Justice Department investigation over whether the Web-based listings exchange system Open RealNet Exchange, or OREX, unfairly leaves out smaller companies, according to the New York Post, which did not cite the names of the companies. The move comes on the heels of a dropped lawsuit that George Simpson, owner of competing data service Suffolk Research Service, brought against 25 East End real estate firms and brokers, according to an August 2009 story from The Real Deal. Simpson has long-argued that the OREX system’s hefty $40,000-plus yearly subscription fee blocks smaller companies from joining, forming a de facto monopoly among the East End’s big boys. [Post]

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