Airbnb Should Be Seen As A Digital Service Provider, ECJ Advised | Airbnb

Airbnb has gone one step further to avoid onerous domestic regulations after an adviser to the European Court of Justice said the company should be seen as a digital service provider.

Maciej Szpunar, one of the advocates general of the ECJ, found that Airbnb was what Brussels would describe as an information society service, a statute that comes with the right to operate freely throughout the world. EU.

Szpunar rejected claims by a French tourism association that the company would face the same accounting, insurance and financial obligations as traditional real estate suppliers.

Airbnb, which is registered in Ireland, argues that its business activities of connecting landlords with people looking for accommodation cannot be considered real estate brokerage.

Szpunar said on Tuesday that the French government had failed to properly notify the European Commission and Irish authorities of its intention to apply French law to the company. He said Airbnb is an online service that connects potential customers with hosts who offer short-term accommodation.

It is not known what the opinion would have been if the French authorities had made the required notification.

The opinion is not binding, although the court takes the opinion of its advocates general in 80% of cases. Airbnb said it welcomed the notice because it offered a “clear overview of the applicable rules.”

The development will likely be a boon for Airbnb, which has fought claims from cities around the world, including Paris, Amsterdam and Barcelona, ​​that its services are changing the face of neighborhoods and need to be more heavily regulated.

France is Airbnb’s largest market after the United States, and Paris is its largest single-city market, with approximately 65,000 listed homes.

A spokesperson for the company said: “We welcome the Advocate General’s opinion, which provides a clear overview of the rules applicable to collaborative economy platforms like Airbnb and how those rules help create opportunities for consumers.

“We also want to be good partners and have already worked with over 500 governments around the world on measures to help hosts share their homes, follow the rules and pay their fair share of taxes.

“As we move forward, we want to continue working with everyone to put locals at the heart of sustainable travel for the 21st century.”

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