CoStar Purchase of LoopNet Cleared by FTC With Sale of Stake

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved CoStar Group Inc.’s $860 million acquisition of LoopNet Inc. on condition the combined firm sells its stake in a company that also provides commercial real estate data.

In addition, CoStar, the largest provider of commercial real estate information services in the U.S., must lift non-compete provisions and refrain from bundling its products in ways that could hurt competition, the FTC said today in an e-mailed statement.

CoStar, based in Washington, will sell LoopNet’s stake in Xceligent, which tracks and aggregates commercial real estate listings and property information in 33 cities, to make sure the company will remain an active competitor, the FTC said.

“By maintaining Xceligent as an independent competitor and ensuring Xceligent’s ability to grow and expand, the FTC’s settlement order will foster continued competition in these markets,” said Richard Feinstein, director of the agency’s Bureau of Competition.

Under the proposed order, Xceligent will be sold to DMG Information Inc., a U.S.-based subsidiary of British media and data conglomerate Daily Mail & General Trust, Plc, the FTC said.

CoStar and San Francisco-based LoopNet are the only two providers of commercial real estate listings databases with nationwide coverage, the FTC said. Listings databases compile information about commercial real estate properties for sale or lease.

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