The Pexa Group Ltd (ASX: PXA) share price fell 3.62% on Friday to close the trading week at $13.30.
It came after reports surfaced that the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) is investigating the online property exchange network operator.
According to The Australian, the ACCC is probing the company for potential breaches of Section 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act, which “prohibits a firm with a substantial degree of market power from engaging in conduct that has the purpose, effect or likely effect of substantially lessening competition in a market”.
In wider market moves on Friday, the S&P/ASX 200 Real Estate Index (ASX: XRE) slipped 2.85% into the red.
Returns over the last three months for both instruments are plotted on the chart below, showing striking similarities in directional movement.
ACCC to investigate Pexa
The Pexa share price has been descending over the last two to three months, having stumbled from a previous closing high of $18.49 on 5 April.
This week, however, shares have slumped another 11%.
This comes amid reports the ACCC has started proceedings following accusations from competitor Sympli.
Allegations from Sympli say that Pexa delayed “interoperability”, according to The Australian. Interoperability is a system where platforms communicate with each other to enable property transactions to be completed across different operators, the report says.
“Sympli has also accused Pexa of withholding access to information that it needs to move forward to build its own electronic lodgement network,” the report said.
“Sympli CEO Philip Joyce also accused the market leader of being disingenuous in its dealings with other stakeholders.”
This isn’t the first time the ACCC has stuck the needle in to investigate Pexa. Back in September 2018, the ACCC drafted a report on the state of the industry, probing if Pexa’s large market share constituted a risk.
It remains to be seen what course of action the ACCC will take in its investigation and/or any recommendations from its final report.
In the last 12 months, the Pexa share price has crumbled by 22%. It has also fallen 33% this year to date.