REA Group has reiterated its conviction not to engage in discussions with Real Estate Digital Marketing Services (REDMS), despite the new group providing details relating to the alleviation of REA's concerns.
These concerns include the lack of clarity on competition law compliance of the proposed group and REDMS's alleged links to competitors Domain and Metro Media Publishing (MMP).
"REA Group has been clear as to its concerns in dealing with REDMS,” Peter Tonagh, REA Group interim CEO, told Real Estate Business.
"We are not prepared to engage in discussions with REDMS until we have satisfied the commercial and legal considerations that any business would be expected to undertake,” said Mr Tonagh.
REA said these links include the sole shareholder and current sole director of REDMS being an associate of MMP, and Vizeum's role as the media buying agency for MMP and Domain, both of which Mr Tonagh believes would make "an independent review difficult".
Last week, one of the country's leading boutique agencies refuted claims by realestate.com.au that the REDMS is being controlled by parties associated with Domain.
Speaking to Real Estate Business, REDMS spokesman Anton Staindl said the group has provided details and solutions relating to the concerns REA listed.
Mr Staindl confirmed an Australian Financial Review report that stated REA had chosen not to respond to those offers, and late Friday afternoon via legal correspondence said they would be refusing to deal with REDMS.
The report added that REDMS had voted to shun the most expensive advertising package available with realestate.com.au, known as 'premiere', if they are not happy with the direction of negotiations with the company.
Mr Tonagh said that while realestate.com.au offers a full range of listing products, from its most economical standard listings to full premium listings, "much of the recent commentary has focused on our most premium offer and ignored the much lower-cost alternatives that are available to all agents".