Ray White confirm that judgment has today been made against the company for breach of provisions of the Commerce Act in the real estate market.
These breaches relate to Ray White being fined under the Commerce Act for contraventions of section 27 via section 30 of the Act by entering into and giving effect to the PPL Agreement, as detailed in an Agreed Statement of Facts. In this regard judgment for an agreed penalty of $2,200,000 on Ray White has been imposed.
In respect of the judgment, and consistent with the Agreed Statement of Facts, the following is noted:
The Commission acknowledges that Ray White vendors were not harmed by the PPL agreement in terms of them paying a higher amount for a Trade Me listing fee.
Ray White is a master franchisor rather than wholly owning any offices within the Ray White network. As such, there was no direct potential for commercial gain to Ray White.
Ray White never moved to a vendor funded model. Accordingly, there was no actual harm to Ray White’s vendors in terms of them paying a higher amount for a Trade Me listing fee. The Commission accepts that Ray White should be entitled to a lesser penalty to recognise that none of Ray White’s vendors were harmed.
Implementation of vendor funding varied between the defendants. Ray White never vendor funded. Rather it entered into a new agreement with Trade Me on 6 September 2013 and its head office continued to absorb the fee.
No other comment will be made publicly at this time.