Arizona AG Targets RealPage Rental Housing Price Fixing Cartel in New Antitrust Lawsuit

February 28, 2024 Press Release

Washington, D.C. — In response to news that the Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes has filed an antitrust suit against RealPage and 9 residential landlords for colluding to raise prices through the anticompetitive sharing of rent data, the American Economic Liberties Project released the following statement.

“We’re thrilled to see Attorney General Mayes crack down on RealPage, which sits at the center of a housing cartel responsible for rising rent prices in Arizona,” said Pat Garofalo, Director of State and Local Policy at the American Economic Liberties Project. “With its rent-setting software informed by shared data on prices, RealPage has made it easy for landlords across Arizona to eliminate competition and gouge renters, even if it means higher vacancy rates.This suit also comes at a critical moment, with momentum in Congress and other states to end RealPage’s abusive price fixing scheme.”

As the complaint details, “The participants in this scheme—landlords who own, operate, or manage multifamily apartments—acknowledge that they are all ‘technically competitors’ but RealPage helps them ‘work together . . . to make us all more successful in our pricing[.]’” RealPage boasts that by joining up, participants can “continually outpace the market in good times and bad.”

One defendant admitted RealPage helped it increase turnover rates significantly – i.e., push people out of apartments – while generating millions more in income. And RealPage enforces participation in the cartel by removing access to its software for landlords who deviate from its suggested prices.

The suit comes amid growing scrutiny on RealPage’s anti-competitive tactics. Last month, Senator Ron Wyden introduced legislation in Congress to enhance antitrust law enforcement against algorithmic price setting tools—like RealPage—in the rental market, recognizing these data sharing tools as price fixing agreements. The legislation came just days after the publication of a report showing rental housing is unaffordable for a record number of Americans—a trend that has been driven by pricing software like RealPage in several cities. And late last year, D.C. Attorney General Brian Schwalb filed a similar antitrust suit against RealPage and 14 residential landlords for colluding to raise prices by sharing competitive data.

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The American Economic Liberties Project works to ensure America’s system of commerce is structured to advance, rather than undermine, economic liberty, fair commerce, and a secure, inclusive democracy. Economic Liberties believes true economic liberty means entrepreneurs and businesses large and small succeed on the merits of their ideas and hard work; commerce empowers consumers, workers, farmers, and engineers instead of subjecting them to discrimination and abuse from financiers and monopolists; foreign trade arrangements support domestic security and democracy; and wealth is broadly distributed to support equitable political power.