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Zillow and Move/NAR Settle Lawsuit and End Trade Secrets Battle

June 07 2016

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Zillow settled several lawsuits recently, including one we've all been watching closely: the Move, Inc. suit that accused Zillow of stealing trade secrets.

According to the terms of the agreement, Zillow must pay Move, Inc. $130 million by June 20. Move, the operators of Realtor.com, brought the suit against Zillow in 2014 after two Move executives defected to the rival portal. The suit alleged that the executives, Errol Samuelson and Curt Beardsley, stole trade secrets and destroyed evidence in order to conceal the theft.

Move and Zillow "have agreed to dismiss all claims and counterclaims with prejudice," according to an SEC filing, and the settlement is not an "admission of liability, wrongdoing, or responsibility by any of the parties." NAR will receive 10 percent of the settlement after Move deducts legal costs and fees. Move originally sought $2 billion in damages.

Despite the settlement, bad blood persists. That means you shouldn't expect to see Zillow at any NAR conferences or events anytime soon. NAR has banned Zillow from their events for the remainder of 2016--and we wouldn't be surprised to see that ban stick around for even longer.

On Thursday, Zillow also announced settlement of a handful of other lawsuits related to its sales office in Irvine, Calif. The lawsuits alleged that Zillow maintained a "frat house" atmosphere and accused the portal giant of discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation. Another class-action lawsuit said that Zillow failed to pay around $5 million in overtime to Irvine employees.

Zillow has admitted no wrongdoing and hasn't disclosed the terms of these suits. For more backstory on Zillow's employment related lawsuits, see the following links: