Continued requests for additional information from the Federal Trade Commission has once again delayed Zillow’s planned acquisition of Trulia. The FTC has been reviewing Zillow’s proposal to acquire its online real estate competitor Trulia at $2.9 billion, checking for any potential anti-trust violations.
Zillow had first announced in November that the acquisition had been delayed to at least Feb. 1, 2015, as the FTC sought more information and time to review the deal. The deal has now been delayed to at least Feb. 15, but is expected to close in the first half of 2015.
“Neither the Timing Agreement nor the Amended Timing Agreement prevents the parties from consummating the Proposed Transaction sooner if the FTC grants early termination, closes its investigation, or accepts for public comment a proposed consent agreement settling the matter,” Zillow said in a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing.
The Zillow-Trulia acquisition was first announced at the end of July 2014. It is subject to approval of both companies’ stockholders.
“Both companies have been enormously successful in creating compelling consumer brands and deep industry partnerships, but it’s still early days in the world of real estate advertising on mobile and Web," Zillow CEO Spencer Rascoff said when first announcing the acquisition last summer.
Competition in the online real estate space has heated up in recent months. Media giant News Corp acquired Move Inc. and realtor.com in late November 2014. News Corp is a media and publishing business that owns such titles as The Wall Street Journal and Barron’s. News Corp, which Rupert Murdoch serves as the executive chairman, also owns a majority stake in REA Group Ltd., a leading Australian residential property website. The Move network of websites, which includes realtor.com, reaches more than 30 million online visitors per month.
"I'm grateful for this exciting opportunity to join the team at Move and help make realtor.com the best in the business," said Ryan O'Hara, who will step in as Move’s new CEO next week, in a recent statement. "The digital real estate marketplace is poised for rapid expansion as more people go online to buy, sell, and rent property in America, and as more businesses advertise on digital real estate platforms to reach those home owners. I believe realtor.com is ready to capitalize on this technological revolution."