Zoopla offered to pay £250,000 of Connells’ legal costs in the latter’s battle against Agents’ Mutual, the Competition Appeal Tribunal heard today (Monday).
The tribunal is examining competition issues around the ‘one other portal’ rule on the Agents’ Mutual-owned OnTheMarket.
Gascoigne Halman, a Gold member of OnTheMarket, signed up in January 2014 when it was an independent. It was bought by Connells in October 2015.
The tribunal today heard from David Livesey, Group Chief Executive of Connells Limited, a post he had held since 2008, having been a director since 1995.
In October 2015, Mr Livesey also became a director of Gascoigne Halman.
The tribunal heard that Connells was funding Gascoigne Halman’s defence in the case, with the effect that Gascoigne Halman was “completely insulated from the costs of this litigation”.
Mr Livesey added that Zoopla had “offered to meet a small proportion of our legal costs”, which he said was £250,000 and a “very small fraction”.
Alan Maclean, the QC for Agents’ Mutual, asked why he thought Zoopla would make such an offer.
Mr Livesey replied: “I have no idea, I’m not here to speculate.”
More coverage in tomorrow morning’s EYE.