Hello Minister. Please End This Monopoly or Regulate it Properly.
The largest industry in Australia today is the real estate industry.
The most powerful force in shaping how real estate is sold in that industry is the News Limited owned website (via majority ownership of REA Group), realestate.com.au
Realestate.com.au is majority owned by News Limited and this has created a situation over the past 2 decades, in which Australian's are forced to pay advertising costs which are far greater than they ought to be, when selling or leasing ones property.
Such costs are out of step with industry regulatory practices and pricing worldwide.
Additionally, because of the relationship between the 2 largest portals and their media group ownerships, press coverage of cheaper alternatives is almost non-existent. This exacerbates even further, the monopoly position and the abuse of power, by realestate.com.au and the realestate.com.au and domain (duopoly)
There are a great many anti-competitive practices being used by the majority portal and its owner (REA Group), which further limits competition and thus contributes to higher than necessary housing prices.
Specifically, there is both selective pricing and price gouging on a mammoth scale. Both real estate agents and also the public are completely powerless to do anything about the misuse of power.
There exists no market force able to counter the current situation and only Government intervention can alleviate the many serious abuses of power which have been occurring for decades.
While the situation described above has existed unchallenged for 20 years, the Covid pandemic has made the status quo far more dire and consequential. Prior to Covid, Australia's largest real estate website was already implementing (for the first time in its entire history) a cost per rental listing. This new cost was already planned and already actioned and then temporarily paused by the Covid19 situation. At the time of writing Covid is still a massive problem and REA Group have re-implemented the new rental cost.
A similar cost per sale listing was implemented without challenge by realestate.com.au just 2 years ago and the ACCC was also warned at that time, that rentals would soon follow, and this has in fact happened precisely as predicted.
Minister, Australia cannot have the situation whereby the 2 largest property websites are majority owned, controlled and aided and abetted by the largest media interests in Australia.
Minister, respectfully, the Australian public demand your intervention, given the conspicuous absence of any assistance or proper oversight in this matter from from the ACCC, who have been astoundingly silent and asleep at the wheel on this matter... even when massive evidence was put before them of abuse of power. We need your urgent attention.
Thank you for your support, maybe together we can create fairness and level the playing field!