RE/MAX (NASDAQ:RMAX) has agreed to a $55 million settlement to resolve claims brought in two class action lawsuits that the company colluded with the National Association of Realtors to inflate commissions paid by home sellers.
The company announced the settlement in a document filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. In its filing, the company said that the settlement will resolve all claims against RE/MAX and “releases RE/MAX and the Company, their subsidiaries and affiliates, and RE/MAX sub-franchisors, franchisees and their sales associates in the United States from the Claims.” In addition to the financial aspect of the settlement, RE/MAX said it “agreed to make certain changes to its business practices” – including “no longer forcing homesellers to pay buyers’ agents.”
The lawsuits, known as Christopher Moehrl and Sitzer/Burnett, claimed the company ran afoul of the Sherman Antitrust Act in its actions. The settlement must be approved by the U.S. District Court judges in Illinois (Moehrl) and Missouri (Sitzer/Burnett), where the two cases were filed. (Sitzer/Burnett), who are overseeing the two lawsuits.
The company added that it would use available cash to pay the settlement amount.