Where Real Estate Gets Its Dirt

Industry Relations Episode 64: A New Approach to Antitrust Regulations—with Michael Wurzer

The DOJ pulling out of its antitrust settlement with NAR seems like bad news for the industry.

But what if it could be an opportunity?

Michael Wurzer is the CEO of FBS, the leading innovator of MLS technology. Prior to FBS, Michael spent seven years practicing law in California and Minnesota, working in corporate law, litigation, and serving as Assistant General Counsel for Aveda.

On this episode of Industry Relations, Michael shares his unique perspective on the DOJ withdrawal, discussing the Biden administration’s intent to refocus on antitrust principles and the need for smaller, independent businesses to ensure competition in any sector.

Michael explains how organized real estate might engage with regulators, describing how MLSs could serve as labs of experimentation to promote transparency and competition in the industry.

Listen in to understand the challenge of overcoming what Rob calls the regulatory mindset and find out how real estate can take an offensive posture with the FTC, working together to innovate around Brandeis and Patman’s antitrust ideals.

What’s Discussed:  

The intent of the Biden administration to refocus on antitrust principles

Why industries need smaller, independent businesses to ensure competition

How the competitive nature of the MLS benefits NAR in negotiating with the DOJ

Why Michael sees an opportunity for the industry to engage with regulators

How MLSs might serve as labs of experimentation to promote transparency and competition

The concerns around Ben Harris’ advocacy for delinking of commissions 

How a willingness to experiment would be a good defense for government intervention

Rob’s concern that the regulatory mindset won’t allow for such a nuanced approach

Why Michael doesn’t see NAR or large MLSs as Goliaths to be broken up

Connect with Michael:


Michael on Twitter

Connect with Rob and Greg: 

Rob’s Website

Greg’s Website


FBS Summit

Justice Department Withdraws from Settlement with the National Association of Realtors

Goliath: The 100-Year War Between Monopoly Power and Democracy by Matt Stoller

Chicago School of Economics

‘Amazon’s Antitrust Paradox’ by Lina M. Khan

Robinson-Patman Act

Biden’s Executive Order on Promoting Competition in the American Economy

REX on Industry Relations EP055

‘Anticompetition in Buying and Selling Homes’ by Roger P. Alford and Benjamin H. Harris

Rob’s Post on Ben Harris

Michael’s Presentation on the Expanding MLS

British Columbia’s Shadow Flipping Controversy

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  1. Greg, thanks to you and Rob for having me on the IR podcast, it was fun! One small correction in the blog post is that I was Assistant General Counsel at Aveda, rather than the GC. Thanks again!

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