Amsterdam court rules against Airbnb in potential €200m fee case

Netherlands: Airbnb is set to pay a bill totaling €200 million after an Amsterdam court ruled it was not entitled to claim booking fees from Dutch domestic travelers.

The Amsterdam District Court ruled that the platform had breached a law in the country prohibiting intermediaries from obtaining fees from both parties in a transaction.

As a result, Airbnb was forced to reimburse €470 in fees to the customer who brought the case, but as lawyer Nicolaas Huppes told, the court ruling applies to all bookings made. by tourists residing in the Netherlands. The article reported that Huppes had told the Amsterdam daily Het Parol that Airbnb will now be subject to claims from anyone who has paid the 15% accommodation fee since 2015 with intermediaries involved.

In fact, the booking platform will now only be able to guarantee the 3.6% fee it collects from owners.

Huppes said, “It’s no small thing, it’s a 16-page judgment. Three judges have considered this case and I will be interested to see how they will react.

In October 2015, the decision prohibiting intermediaries from representing both parties, which applies to real estate, employment mediation and financial products, was adopted by the Dutch Supreme Court. Huppes added that he is set to pursue other individual or class claims against Airbnb for a 30% commission.

In a statement, an Airbnb spokesperson said the court’s decision violated the judgment delivered by the European Court of Justice [CJEU] in December 2019in which Airbnb was seen as an online platform rather than an agent [or middleman].

They said, “Airbnb told the parool he would appeal the decision, arguing that similar requests had been rejected by judges in Rotterdam and Utrecht. “This decision is contrary to European law.

“The European Court of Justice recently ruled that Airbnb is an online platform and not an agent. The application of Dutch law is contrary to this decision,” they added.

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