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There's No Place Like Homestore

Exactly as predicted by its CEO, Homestore.com Inc. said the Justice Department has advised the company that "no enforcement action is necessary" regarding its acquisition of Cendant Corp.'s Move.com last February.

At the time of the $761 million all-stock acquisition, Homestore, which also operates REALTOR.com, HomeBuilder.com, SpringStreet.com and HomeFair.com, said the acquisition would create "the largest ... marketplace for home and real estate-related products and services on the Internet."

The Justice Department had said its antitrust division was reviewing the deal.

"We've done our homework," Stuart Wolff, Homestore.com's chairman and chief executive officer of the Westlake Village, Calif.-based company, said at the time. He said the company was confident the transaction would be approved.

Homestore issued a statement today saying "All inquiries are now closed."

"Obviously, we're extremely pleased by the Justice Department's decision to close this matter," said Wolff. "We're proud of the hard work and innovation we have brought to the real estate industry and we will continue to focus on serving our professional customers and the consumers who use our products and services."

Cendant assets integrated into Homestore.com's network of Web sites included move.com, apartment locator site Rent Net, direct marketing company Welcome Wagon and other sites.

Homestore.com's REALTOR.com site also got exclusive 40-year access to the listings of Cendant's Century 21, Coldwell Banker and ERA real estate franchises.

Homestore shares were up 12 cents in the early going to $31.19.