In the next month or so, the Federal Trade Commission is expected to decide whether to allow online real estate hubs Zillow and Trulia to complete their $3.5 billion merger. The decision will send ripples through a multi-billion dollar ad market involving everyone from Google to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and possibly even Facebook.
While Zillow and Trulia are U.S.-focused companies, rivals like News Corp—which late last year acquired the third biggest hub, Realtor.com—are playing in a global market that has drawn interest from a range of bigger companies. Just last week Google Capital said it had invested in India’s CommonFloor, just a few months after News Corp bought a 25 percent stake in another Indian digital real estate firm PropTiger. Another investor in the global classifieds sector is investment firm Tiger Global, which has a stake in CommonFloor as well, along with both Trulia and Zillow.