Property search engine Home.co.uk warns Rightmove that preventing 'deep-linking' to property details is damaging their estate agent clients' business and is probably anti-competitive.
Property search engine Home.co.uk have written directly to Rightmove to request that they should desist their attempts at restrictive practice and should not seek to block homebuyers arriving at their property details pages through 'deep-linking'.
Home.co.uk stopped linking into Rightmove's website last year after threats of legal action from Rightmove forced them to consider their position. Home have now given Rightmove notice of precisely one month that they intend to restart their deep-links.
Doug Shephard from Home.co.uk said, "We were mystified by Rightmove's attitude on this from the start. It's clear to us that our search engine could be directing our buyer traffic of around 1 million hits per month to Rightmove-listed properties. This can only serve to increase the return on investment for their estate agent clients.
"We have since taken detailed legal advice on the points raised by Rightmove and are now satisfied that we are within our rights to continue linking into their site. Our advisers have also pointed out that Rightmove themselves might be in trouble for abusing their market position. We've given them a month to respond to the issues raised in our letter to try to keep things on an amicable level."
Several recent high profile test cases have concluded that 'deep-linking' is now legally accepted practice on the Internet. After all, it has now become clear that general search engines such as Google and vertical search engines like Home.co.uk both work best by directing users to the most relevant web page and are vital parts of the way the web works. Legislators are increasingly taking a dim view of protectionist practices that stifle development of the World Wide Web.
The last thing estate agents need during this housing market downturn is someone like Rightmove cutting the number of potential buyers that can access agents' paid-for property listings.
Estate agents can ensure that their properties for sale are included in the Home.co.uk Search Index by visiting http://www.home.co.uk/agents/listing.htm. Home does not charge estate agents for their direct upload service.
Notes for EditorsOver the last 19 years, Home.co.uk has become established as a dynamic, innovative and ethical service. By providing the UK's most comprehensive Property Search and Estate Agents directory coupled with detailed House Price analysis, Home.co.uk delivers the real power of the Internet to inform and empower estate agents, homebuyers, renters, landlords and sellers in across the UK.
Phone: 0845 373 3580
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