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Business rumor: Zillow in talks to buy Trulia?

 

SEATTLE – July 25, 2014 – A report yesterday from Bloomberg News claimed that Zillow was close to completing a deal to acquire or merge with Trulia based on information from "people with knowledge of the matter." One of those people suggested that a deal could be announced within a week or two. Bloomberg also said the talks "are ongoing and may not lead to a deal."

News media outlets quickly picked up on the information, and it received wide coverage.

However, neither Zillow nor Trulia commented on the rumor as a matter of corporate policy.

Trulia also refused to comment on a rumor last month that it was in negotiations to acquire Move Inc., the oversight company of the National Association of Realtors®' (NAR) realtor.com.

While the latest rumor hasn't been confirmed beyond "people with knowledge of the matter," the financial markets seemed to believe it. By the end of the day, Zillow's stock price rose more than 15 percent, and Trulia's stock price rose 32 percent. However, Move Inc.'s stock price – which is not part of the current rumor – rose 7 percent.

According to Sara Wiskerchen, NAR managing director, media communications, the association "knows absolutely nothing" about any potential merger or acquisition between Zillow and Trulia. She says NAR has been contacted several times by the media but "can't confirm anything."

The same is true about the June rumor claiming that Trulia was in the market to acquire Move Inc. NAR wasn't told about any negotiations, and it still doesn't know if there was any truth to it.

"Move is a public company, so they'd never share that information with anybody outside, including NAR," says Wiskerchen.

If more than a rumor, a Zillow-Trulia deal would give the combined companies substantial influence over the online ad listing market. According to a ComScore analysis of the top 15 U.S. real estate websites, Zillow and Trulia attract about 89 percent of all online visitors.

© 2014 Florida Realtors®