Zillow is interested in acquiring Trulia, its largest rival in the real estate search business, according to a report by Bloomberg News. The news was welcomed by investors, who as of this writing sent Trulia’s stock price up almost 32 percent from what it was trading at this morning. Zillow’s share price is up 15 percent from where it opened.
According to the report, Zillow may value Trulia at up to $2 billion in the event of a purchase, though talks between the two companies are ongoing and may not lead to a deal.
A tie-up between the two companies would be an interesting move, considering that there’s no love lost between the pair. In 2012, Zillow sued Trulia for patent infringement, based on a patent that it holds for its Zestimate home value estimation tool, and the legal battle between the two firms has dragged on for years.
Right now, Zillow is the larger player in the real estate search market. The Seattle-based company reported that it saw 83 million unique users of its website and mobile properties, compared to Trulia’s 54 million unique visitors, including users of its Market Leader agent facing products.
Acquiring Trulia would also give Zillow a way to easily provide more services to real estate agents. Trulia CEO Pete Flint told an audience at the Real Estate Connect conference in San Francisco last week that he predicts a bright future for tools that help agents and brokers perform better at their job.
Acquisition rumors have been swirling in the real estate search space this year. Last month, reports surfaced about Trulia’s interest in acquiring Realtor.com operator Move, and consolidating its power base further. It’s unclear what the fate of that deal would be in the event Trulia decided to join Zillow.
Representatives for Zillow and Trulia both declined to comment on this report.