Monopoly in Wintergreen?

Thanks to the HooK, I saw this story in the DP. Monopoly or healthy competition? At the very least, this should prove interesting. If partnering with Wintergreen is a monopoly, might this have ramifications with developments (not location-specific) that say “exclusively marketed by” whereby the implication is that buyers must use that company if they want to see the development?

Wintergreen is a very different market than Charlottesville, but I didn’t foresee this coming.

Update: Jennifer gives us the attorney’s point of view.

Update 2/27/2007: The Washington Times has picked up the story, with this nifty quote:

Wintergreen Resort Premier Properties “is charging sellers 6 percent commissions,” said Allen Foster, attorney for Mountain Area Realty. “Mountain Area Realty was charging 5 to 51/2 percent. So we know consumers are being harmed.”

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  2. TrvlnMn February 24, 2007 at 12:03

    I don’t think anyone thinks “exclusively marketed by” means “must use” but then I generally give people more credit for intelligence then they deserve. If the wintergreen arrangement turns out to be judged a monopoly- then (without mentioning names) I’m thinking that one large local R.E. agency would lose the the large number of “exclusive” arrangments it’s seems to aways have at any given development or condo project. And I was wondering how long it would take for this to become an issue- I’m just surprised that “other company” isn’t the one at the defendant’s table.

  3. Jim Duncan February 24, 2007 at 13:04

    don’t think anyone thinks “exclusively marketed by” means “must use”

    You would be surprised at how many times I have been asked by people whether I can, as their Buyer’s Agent, show them these “exclusively marketed by” developments.

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