Washington, DC - CoreLogic, Inc. has agreed to settle Federal Trade Commission charges that its proposed $661 million acquisition of DataQuick Information Systems, Inc. from TPG VI Ontario 1 AIV L.P. (TPG) would likely substantially lessen competition in the market for national assessor and recorder bulk data.
According to the FTC’s complaint, the proposed combination of CoreLogic’s and DataQuick’s national assessor and recorder bulk data businesses would eliminate one of only three providers of national assessor and recorder bulk data. The complaint alleges that the proposed acquisition would increase the risk of anticompetitive coordination between the remaining two market participants and the risk that CoreLogic would unilaterally exercise market power and raise prices for customers.
To preserve competition that would be lost due to the acquisition, the FTC’s proposed settlement order requires CoreLogic to license to Renwood RealtyTrac (RealtyTrac) national assessor and recorder bulk data as well as several ancillary data sets that DataQuick provides to its customers. As proposed, the order allows RealtyTrac to offer customers the data and services that DataQuick now offers and to become an effective competitor in the market. RealtyTrac operates an online marketplace of foreclosure real property listings and provides national foreclosure data services to real estate consumers, investors, and professionals.
National assessor and recorder bulk data include current and historical public record data in a standardized bulk format for the vast majority of properties in the United States. Together, assessor and recorder data provide information regarding the ownership, status, and value of properties. Customers use this data as an input into proprietary programs and systems for internal analyses. They also may use it to create value-added products, such as risk and fraud management tools, valuation models, and consumer-oriented property websites.
CoreLogic, headquartered in Irvine, California, provides real property information, analytics, and services through a host of products tailored to the needs of customers in the lending, investment, and real estate industries. It collects and maintains national assessor and recorder bulk data and is the largest provider of this data in the United States.
DataQuick, headquartered in San Diego, California, is a subsidiary of Decision Insight Information Group, which itself is a subsidiary of TPG, a global private investment firm. As part of its business, DataQuick offers licenses for national assessor and recorder bulk data. It has such a license with CoreLogic that allows it to re-license the data in bulk. On June 30, 2013, CoreLogic entered into an agreement to acquire DataQuick, from TPG.
The Commission vote to accept the consent agreement containing the proposed consent order for public comment was 4-0. The FTC will publish a description of the consent agreement package in the Federal Register shortly. The agreement will be subject to public comment for 30 days, beginning today and continuing through April 23, 2014, after which the Commission will decide whether to make the proposed consent order final. Interested parties can submit written comments electronically or in paper form by following the instructions in the “Invitation To Comment” part of the “Supplementary Information” section.
Comments in paper form should be mailed or delivered to: Federal Trade Commission, Office of the Secretary, Room H-113, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Washington, DC 20580. The FTC is requesting that any comment filed in paper form near the end of the public comment period be sent by courier or overnight service, if possible, because U.S. postal mail in the Washington area and at the Commission is subject to delay due to heightened security precautions. Comments also can be submitted electronically.