"It's a blockbuster ... What this says is, Zillow has been and has locked up the absolute dominant position in online real estate in the United States,” says real estate analyst Steve Murray on reports Zillow (Z +4.6%) is looking to acquire Trulia (TRLA +2%).
Barclays' Christopher Merwin predicts a merger would "dramatically increase the combined entity's pricing power" with real estate agents, and would yield more leverage in price negotiations with MLSs. Zillow just bought MLS data-integration software platform provider Retsly.
Murray admits there could be a backlash to the deal, stating "the industry will be concerned ... if you have one huge, overwhelmingly dominant player" for whom agents "will be almost compelled" to list on.
Bloomberg reports Zillow could pay for 1/3 of the purchase in cash (implies a $667M cash payment at a $2B acquisition price), and 2/3 in stock. Zillow had $446M in cash/investments at the end of Q1.
While Zillow and Trulia continue to rally, Move (MOVE -2.8%) is now below where it traded before the first merger report broke.