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CBRE Brazil Fails in Court to Silence Story Exposing Its Alleged Monopoly

A Brazilian court has ruled in favor of SiiLA, a real estate data firm, in a lawsuit filed by CBRE Brazil. The lawsuit aimed to remove an article published by SiiLA that criticized CBRE's business practices in the country. The article alleges that CBRE uses its dominant market position to pressure property owners into signing exclusive contracts, potentially limiting competition and harming property owners. The court's decision upholds freedom of expression and protects SiiLA's right to publish its findings. This case has sparked discussions about potential anti-competitive practices in the Brazilian real estate market and the importance of a free press.

A court case in Brazil, filed by the law firm HRSA on behalf of CBRE Brazil, has failed to silence a story exposing potential monopolistic practices by CBRE in the country. In the ruling, the court held that "[t]he Superior Courts have a clear position that the removal of journalistic material, as a rule, violates the freedom of expression..."

The real estate intelligence firm, SiiLA, is a Texas-based real estate advisory and data provider that operates in Latin America with teams in Brazil and Mexico. Its CEO, Giancarlo Nicastro, in a video statement, gave an update on the situation:

"To be clear, CBRE Brazil, as mentioned in the article, has been trying to use strong-arm tactics to intimidate us, attempting to force the article to be taken down. In terms of SiiLA, nothing changes. We will continue working and producing our own content. I would like to express my gratitude to everyone who has reached out, sending notes and words of encouragement. Thank you!"

The article in question was published on January 31, 2024, and entitled, "Poor asset performance exposes the fragility of CBRE's exclusivity monopoly." The article claims that CBRE Brazil, a dominant real estate brokerage firm in the country, uses its commanding market position to pressure property owners into signing exclusive contracts. These contracts allegedly give CBRE control over property marketing and prevent other brokers from showing the property, even if they bring a potential tenant.

The SiiLA article goes on to argue that this exclusivity hurts property owners, as CBRE may not actively market the property, and still charges a commission even if a tenant is found by another broker. Concerns about potential conflicts of interest are raised, as CBRE sometimes both manages and markets properties, which could give them an unfair advantage.




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