From the the Nashville Tennessean:
Gov. Phil Bredesen has signed a bill reinstating a ban on cash rebates for home sales and other real estate transactions, despite opposition from consumer advocates and federal antitrust officials.
The bill signed late Wednesday reverses a decision made earlier this month by state regulators to repeal the ban under pressure from the U.S. Department of Justice.
Many flat-fee and discount real estate brokerages use rebates to reduce their commissions, which are set by home sellers. Justice Department lawyers have challenged cash rebate bans in several states, saying the bans hinder competition among agents.
But the Tennessee Association of Realtors urged lawmakers to reinstate the ban. They said the ban protects consumers from backroom deals between agents and outside parties, such as referral services and mortgage lenders.
The association also said discount brokerages can reduce their commissions by offering non-cash incentives, such as gift cards and services, or by renegotiating commission rates with sellers and their agents.