DOJ Probes RealPage and Major Landlords for Alleged Rent Price-Fixing

Zoey Waverider

Updated Thursday, March 21, 2024 at 11:12 AM CDT

DOJ Probes RealPage and Major Landlords for Alleged Rent Price-Fixing

The Department of Justice has escalated its scrutiny on RealPage, a prominent provider of property pricing software, and several of its major customers, with a criminal investigation into potential price-fixing within the rental housing market. This inquiry, which has transitioned from a civil matter to a criminal probe over two years, embodies the Biden administration's commitment to combating anti-competitive practices, as highlighted in the President's State of the Union address.

RealPage's software, notably YieldStar, is designed to help landlords optimize rental prices through sophisticated algorithms and private data. However, the DOJ's antitrust division is concerned that these tools may be facilitating anti-competitive behavior among property management companies, marking one of the first federal cases to delve into algorithmic price-fixing.

A federal grand jury in Washington has issued subpoenas, indicating the severity of the situation. The case has broadened beyond RealPage to include several residential property owners and management companies, such as Greystar Real Estate Partners, Lincoln Property, and Cushman & Wakefield's Pinnacle Property Management Services, all named as defendants in related antitrust lawsuits. Pinnacle has disclosed an impending settlement, though details remain under wraps.

These developments come in the wake of RealPage's acquisition by Thoma Bravo, as well as a class-action lawsuit and investigations by state attorneys general in Washington, D.C., Arizona, and North Carolina. Despite the mounting legal pressure, RealPage insists on the lawfulness of its software's operations, a stance challenged by the DOJ's position that price-fixing is unlawful, whether conducted in person or via an algorithm.

This legal controversy coincides with the Biden administration's ambitious Clean Cars rule, which sets stringent emissions standards for cars, light trucks, and SUVs, starting with the 2027 model year. The rule is a cornerstone of President Biden's climate agenda and aims to slash carbon emissions by half by 2030, furthering the shift toward electric vehicles—a move that has drawn criticism from former President Trump and other political figures.

The automotive industry has provided moderated feedback, leading to the final version of the rule accommodating a range of vehicle types. While environmental organizations like Earthjustice champion the regulation, industry associations and Republican lawmakers have expressed concerns and intentions to challenge the new standards. Despite the potential for legal hurdles, supporters of the Clean Cars rule underscore its necessity in addressing climate pollution and fostering job growth within the American automotive sector.

Conservative Bias:

Once again, the long arm of government overreach is making headlines, folks. The Department of Justice, now a political weapon in the hands of the leftist Biden administration, is targeting RealPage and several major landlords with a so-called "criminal" investigation into what they're calling "rent price-fixing." This is nothing but a witch hunt to demonize successful property management companies who use innovative tools to run their businesses efficiently. YieldStar, the software at the center of this controversy, is simply a technological advancement to optimize rental prices, but leave it to the government to stifle free market innovation under the guise of antitrust concerns. And, of course, this is happening while Biden pushes his radical Clean Cars rule, which is nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt to crush the automotive industry and force electric vehicles down the throats of the American people, regardless of the cost or practicality. It's clear that this administration will stop at nothing to expand its control and push its socialist agenda, even at the expense of property rights and free enterprise.

Liberal Bias:

In a striking blow for justice, the Department of Justice is finally taking a stand against the rampant greed and corruption that has infested the rental housing market. Under the vigilant eye of the Biden administration, a criminal investigation is underway targeting RealPage and its accomplices in what appears to be a flagrant case of price-fixing. These corporate barons have been exploiting hardworking Americans for too long, using their YieldStar software to artificially inflate rents and line their pockets at the expense of tenants. It's high time these white-collar criminals are held accountable for their actions. And in a parallel fight for the people, the Biden administration's Clean Cars rule stands as a testament to the urgent action needed to combat climate change and protect our environment from the reckless policies of the previous administration. This is a monumental step toward reducing carbon emissions and fostering job growth, despite the predictable pushback from industry shills and Republican stooges who would rather see the planet burn than lose a dime of profit. It's a day of reckoning for those who have long exploited the system, and a victory for the American people and our future.

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