Airbnb gives in to EU pressure on price offers

Airbnb has succeeded in pushing back Brussels regulators in time for the summer holidays by agreeing to change the way it presents rental prices to consumers, the EU said on Wednesday.

“For this summer vacation, Europeans will just get what they see when they book their vacation,” EU Justice and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Vera Jourova said in a statement.

Among the changes, the platform must now display the total price of an accommodation on the first page of results.

Consumers “are no longer at risk of discovering mandatory charges on the following pages,” the commission said.

These surprise charges include so-called “service” or cleaning charges, and local taxes which can significantly increase the final price.

Airbnb has also agreed to clarify whether an offer is marketed by a private host or by a professional. It will offer simplified access on its website to an β€œonline dispute resolution” procedure.

The committee also noted that the company had revised its terms of service.

Among the improvements, these now specify that users can bring an action against Airbnb in the courts of their country of residence.

“I am very satisfied that Airbnb is ready to cooperate with the European Commission and national consumer protection authorities to improve the functioning of its platform,” Jourova said.

β€œI expect other platforms to follow,” she said.

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