Diablo III auction houses are being prepped for demolition next year. Blizzard announced that it will be taking down both the gold and real-money auction houses on March 18, 2014, stating that "they ultimately undermine Diablo's core gameplay."
The studio is giving a heads-up now so that players have enough time to prepare for the change, although specific details regarding the shutdown process are still forthcoming. This announcement comes as Blizzard has been making noise about an improved "Loot 2.0" system to put more of an emphasis on killing monsters for one's gear.
The auction houses will come down at the same time, and after they do, players will be able to trade with each other only through the trade window. You can watch the developers explain their reasoning behind this decision after the jump.