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CoStar Calls Xceligent Antitrust Suit A 'Smoke Screen,' Won't Adjust $20M Legal Budget

CoStar CEO Andrew Florance

CoStar is not changing the amount it plans to spend this year on its legal battle with Xceligent, despite its competitor filing an antitrust countersuit last month. 

On its second-quarter earnings call, CoStar said it spent $3M in Q2 on the litigation and has not changed its plan to spend between $10M and $20M on the case this year. CoStar brought in $237M in revenue last quarter, up 15% from Q2 2016. 

The legal battle began with CoStar's intellectual property suit in December, in which it accused Xceligent of stealing and republishing its proprietary content on an "industrial scale." Xceligent then launched a countersuit on June 28, claiming CoStar violated federal antitrust law by engaging in years of anticompetitive behavior. 

CoStar expects the case to go well into 2018 and is prepared to continue the same level of spending next year, CoStar General Counsel Jon Coleman said on the call. Coleman also disputed the countersuit, arguing Xceligent's claims are meant to distract from the intellectual property issue. 

“We think the counterclaims are a smoke screen and an entirely predictable reaction,” Coleman said. “They are extremely weak and have absolutely no merit. We think it’s more of an admission of guilt that helps our case.”

Xceligent CEO Doug Curry maintains that CoStar has violated antitrust laws, and restrictions the Federal Trade Commission placed on the company in 2012, by preventing brokers from sharing their own information with CoStar's competitors.

“Costar has a stranglehold on the industry and we feel that it’s Xceligent’s duty to protect brokers’ rights to freely share their information," Curry said in an exclusive statement to Bisnow. "We gladly take up this fight and we will not rest until the industry has clear safeguards against an obvious abuse of power by CoStar.”