An ongoing legal battle between a pair of competing real estate listing firms has heated up with Blue Springs company Xceligent accusing rival CoStar of anti-competitive business practices.
CoStar and Xceligent are to the commercial real estate industry what Zillow and Trulia are to home buyers and sellers: Both research and publish online databases of commercial, retail and industrial buildings. The listings include information such as overall building square footage, market value and occupancy rates. The databases are relied upon by real estate brokers, appraisers and others in the commercial real estate business.
Both companies populate their databases by calling building owners, real estate brokers and tenants to obtain information about the listings.
CoStar, a publicly traded company based in Washington, is by far the leader in the commercial real estate listings business. Xceligent claims CoStar tried to keep its distance ahead of competitors by insisting to its broker and property owner contacts that they could not share their information with other listing firms.
Xceligent also accused CoStar of falsifying information in its own databases without notifying brokers and property owners who provided the data.
“We are at a point now where ... someone has to stand up for the industry,” Xceligent CEO Doug Curry told The Star.
CoStar denies Xceligent’s claims.
“Xceligent’s lawsuit is meritless, ignoring facts and lacking any credible argument against CoStar,” reads a statement issued by CoStar. “Xceligent’s efforts to make this about broker provided content and broker websites is contradicted by the facts.”
CoStar sued Xceligent last year, accusing the Blue Springs company of routinely stealing data that CoStar had obtained on its own.
Xceligent has denied CoStar’s accusations in that lawsuit. Xceligent’s accusations of CoStar’s allegedly monopolistic tactics are contained in a counterclaim filed Wednesday in federal court in Kansas City.
Xceligent got its start in 1999 and has aggressively sought to enter the largest commercial real estate markets. Curry said Xceligent publishes real estate data in 54 of the 60 largest markets in the United States. Xceligent has said that CoStar’s lawsuit in December occurred just as Xceligent sought to break into the New York City market.