Long ago, we foresaw that the legal battle between Move, Inc. (operator of Realtor.com, Top Producer, and ListHub) and Zillow would be lengthy, and we couldn’t have been more right.
This week, Move, Inc. has accused Zillow of acquiring Trulia by using confidential Move information obtained by recruiting top level Move executives.
What is Move’s argument?
In yet another ambiguous filing with heavy redaction, it is difficult to tell what Move is arguing, but Move has requested an injunction to “eliminate the commercial advantage” of Zillow’s merger with Trulia, as well as an injunction preventing further breaches of confidence, and of course seeks monetary damages.
This last year has seen Move executives Errol Samuelson and Curt Beardsley jump ship for Zillow under a cloud of suspicion and resulting in a convoluted legal battle. Zillow has repeatedly said they would fight back.
The elephant in the room: timing
So why is this injunction being sought now? Why not in the weeks leading up to the Zillow/Trulia merger? Some point out that the courts had banned Samuelson from the industry, but the temporary ban is coming to an end. Others have considered that in another lawsuit between ListHub and Trulia ended with both agreeing to end their relationship in early April.
Alternatively, the timing could simply be that they have just discovered yet more damning information against their competitor.
To get the backstory, here are just a handful of headlines about this ongoing legal battle.
- February 2015 – Judge grants Move/NAR motion for contempt, prompts investigation into “Samuelson Memo”
- February 2015 – Zillow/ListHub breakup adds third dysfunction to real estate industry
- December 2014 – Move launches lawsuit against former VP, Curt Beardsley
- August 2014 – Research firm says Zillow/Trulia may have anti-trust blood on their hands
- July 2014 – Conference call on Zillow acquiring Trulia
- July 2014 – Judge grants preliminary injunction in NAR/Move’s case against Samuelson, Beardsley
- June 2014 – Is Trulia looking to acquire Move at $18 a share?
- March 2014 – Move/NAR sue Zillow and Errol Samuelson
- March 2014 – 12 pointed questions for Zillow’s Errol Samuelson