March 14, 2024

Gallego Pushes FTC to Investigate Arizona Rental Market Price Fixing

Rep. Gallego’s letter follows Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes’ lawsuit alleging a price-fixing scheme

PHOENIXRep. Ruben Gallego (AZ-03) sent a letter to Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Chair Lina Khan calling on the Commission to investigate alleged anticompetitive practices by the rent-pricing company RealPage.

“While apartment managers can reject the software’s suggested prices, close to 90% of pricing recommendations are adopted. RealPage also hosts working groups that include landlords that would otherwise be rivals,” Rep. Gallego writes. “The resulting coordinated rent increases on the majority of available rental properties potentially amounts toprice-fixing, with working Arizonans and families the hardest hit.”

RealPage, whose clients comprise 90% of the U.S. multifamily housing market, is a pricing software for property managers and landlords of multifamily housing developments that uses non-public, competitively sensitive data to generate a “price” for renting units that maximizes a landlord’s revenue. On average, Phoenix residents living in units priced by RealPage pay an overcharge of 12% compared to non-RealPage units.

In his letter, Rep. Gallego emphasizes that the FTC has broad authority under federal antitrust laws to pursue enforcement against companies that engage in anticompetitive practices that harm consumers.

Two weeks ago, Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes filed a lawsuit in Maricopa County Superior Court alleging RealPage is violating Arizona’s antitrust laws.

This letter is part of Rep. Gallego’s ongoing efforts to lower housing costs and protect Arizona consumers. Last month, he hosted two roundtables to discuss his efforts to increase affordable housing and tackle the issue of homelessness in Arizona. He also applauded the FTC for its lawsuit to block the merger of Kroger and Albertsons, which he had pushed against.