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Re/Max Wins the Race

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From the Los Angeles Times business section:

The nation’s second-largest real estate brokerage is expected to announce today a plan to pool all U.S. residential property listings on its website, a move that would create a formidable national competitor to industry-backed Realtor.com.

The move by Re/Max International Inc. also could eventually help reduce consumers’ costs of buying and selling homes, as competition with other Web-based brokerages heats up.

Online real estate companies and consumer advocates have long complained about the real estate industry’s efforts to limit access to property listings on the Internet. They see it as an attempt to thwart competition from Web-based upstarts, which typically charge lower commissions or charge referral fees.

Read the whole thing. No announcement at the Re/Max site yet. This is a huge story, but I doubt most news organizations will realize it.

Information monopolies simply cannot survive the internet age and the new consumer’s demand for transparency. Re/Max is wise to brand itself as unafraid to provide its customers with facts.

The other implication is for businesses, like newspapers, that have depended on real estate advertising. Yesterday many folks, me included, linked to LAWeekly’s Nikki Finke’s report that Hollywood is preparing to drastically reduce advertising in newspapers.

Now Re/Max launches an innovation that is sure to reduce newspaper readers’ reliance on print ads showcasing homes for sale or rent. Why will realtors pay for advertising when home shoppers are certain to be using the Re/Max site?

Answer: They won’t. At least not for long. And the savvy ones will redirect that print budget into internet strategies to lure the online home buyer to their web presence.

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Edsel v. Studebaker

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From this morning’s From this morning’s New York Times:”>New York Times:

Since taking the baton from Mr. Rather, Mr. Schieffer has actually shed fewer viewers than Mr. Williams, who has lost nearly a half-million (or 5.2 percent) compared with the same period a year ago, when the broadcast was anchored by Tom Brokaw. ABC has lost about as many as CBS – nearly 300,000, or about 3.5 percent – at a time when it was using substitutes for Peter Jennings during his treatment for lung cancer.

With Mr. Jennings’s death on Aug. 7, ABC now finds itself in need of a new anchor, though it is not expected to make changes on the scale CBS is contemplating. Still, it could be in Mr. Moonves’s interest to let ABC News go first, particularly as ABC decides whether to move one of its most recognizable hosts, Charles Gibson of “Good Morning America,” to the evening shift.

Edsel news here. Studebaker news here. Gossip about Edsels and Studebakers here.

What Moral Implications?

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Fetal Tissue Heals Burns
Tests Show Treatment Led to Normal Skin Regrowth

What if “tests show” that the only fetal tissue that works is ninth month fetal tissue?

“One fetus could theoretically provide material for hundreds or thousands of burn victims, although Hohlfeld said he suspected that would not remove some people’s objections to the use of tissue from an aborted fetus.”

That is the only discussion of the moral aspect of this “testing.” Can the Washington Post editors at least ask around a bit about implications?

UPDATE: Professor Bainbridge has some thoughts.

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