Here’s a story with more than a little in common with Britain’s own property portal wars.
A long-running legal saga between Danish estate agents and one of the country’s major property portals appears to be nearing a conclusion - with fines being levied on a number of agents, most of which are accepting the punishment.
Back in 2012 the Danish Competitive Council claimed that over 65 per cent of the country’s estate agents - including its main industry trade body - were involved in anti-competitive boycott agreements against Boliga.dk, denying the portal access to photos of property for sale on the internet.
The Global Competition Review publication said at the time that the strategy behind this action was to try to diminish and possibly put out of business the privately-owned Boliga portal in favour of an agent-owned portal called Bolihsiden.
The Competition Council four years ago ordered the parties to terminate, and to abstain from any future agreements, decisions or concerted practices, which have as their direct or indirect object or effect the restriction of individual estate agents' rights to allow Boliga, or other property search portals, to show photos of their clients' properties.
There have been some years of wrangling but now it appears that the issue has been resolved - at least up to a point.
This week fines of around 12m Danish krone (about £1.235m) have been levied on seven agencies; five of them are reported by Global Competition Review to have accepted the fines and will be paying up while two are appealing, so at least this aspect of the case looks set to rumble on yet.
The Danish Competitive Council found that there was a “hard core” violation of the country’s competition act.
In Britain over the past 18 months there has been controversy over seemingly-coincidental decisions by some agents to drop Zoopla in favour of OnTheMarket, although some of those agents have now returned. More recently, some agents have suggested online that there could be a collective boycott of Rightmove.