Airbnb backs creation of EU digital regulator after courtroom win

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LONDON (Reuters) – Quick-term house rental firm Airbnb mentioned on Wednesday it backed requires a European Union digital regulator after profitable a landmark EU case that meant it could be categorised as an internet platform relatively than a property agent.

FILE PHOTO: A girl talks on the telephone on the Airbnb workplace headquarters within the SOMA district of San Francisco, California, U.S., August 2, 2016. REUTERS/Gabrielle Lurie/File Picture

It mentioned the physique ought to type a part of discussions across the EU’s proposed Digital Companies Act which goals to improve security guidelines for digital platforms, companies and merchandise.

The corporate received its battle to stay exempt from onerous European property laws in a landmark ruling final month of the EU’s Court docket of Justice of the European Union (CJEU).

Airbnb Inc’s fast development over the past decade has posed a problem for conventional hoteliers, and authorities in cities from New York to Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris have accused the corporate of worsening housing shortages and pushing out lower-income residents.

Airbnb says that the corporate, cities and its hosts and prospects can all profit from higher regulation of the sector.

“Whereas our considering on this subject continues to be in its early phases … we’re clear that we assist requires a single European oversight physique for digital companies,” mentioned Chris Lehane, Airbnb Senior Vice President of International Coverage and Communications.

“We strongly imagine that housing coverage and laws of short-term leases inside that does must happen on the native stage,” Lehane added at a briefing in London.

Writing to European cities to announce its backing for an EU digital regulator, Lehane mentioned that such a physique might guarantee regulation of the sector was trusted, constant and will mediate in any disputes that come up.

Lehane additionally mentioned it could announce a partnership to offer cities independently printed knowledge on the impression of short-term leases in Europe, and needed to work on improved methods for amassing vacationer taxes from visitors.

On a worldwide stage, Airbnb mentioned final yr it could introduce new security measures in response to a deadly Halloween capturing in California, together with a ban on so-called “celebration homes”, a 24/7 hot-line and a review of “excessive threat reservations.”

Reporting by Alistair Smout; enhancing by Stephen Addison

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