The free marketplace exists to allow companies to thrive. Many Houston businesses benefit from the ability to grow and expand as they see fit. However, there are some regulations that determine how businesses will run and interact with each other. For example, two companies in the same area often compete for customers, and a misstep can quickly result in a lawsuit claiming unfair competition. It is important to be able to substantiate such claims and avoid wasting time in court.
Such is the case for an Austin-based realtor that decided to open a branch in Des Moines. The result has been several lawsuits filed and dropped over the course of several years. The back-and-forth arguments include allegations of interfering with contracts, breach of contract and defamation.
When the Austin-based company moved into Iowa, it was apparent it would have to share the market with another realty company that regards itself as one of the largest firms in the state. Common practice in real estate is to split commissions if one company sells a home listed under another. However, the Iowa company refused to do so, sparking a suit from the Austin realtor. After the company dropped the lawsuit, the Iowa realtor countersued on the basis that its competitor launched a public smear campaign, among other charges.
A judge has ruled that the Iowa company could not back up its allegations, and the suit has since been dropped. Situations can quickly become complex as companies go back and forth disputing allegations and filing lawsuits. A business in any industry should seek the help of an attorney to navigate circumstances such as these.
Source: Des Moines Register, “Iowa Realty drops suit against Keller Williams,” Joel Aschbrenner, April 18, 2014