The European parliament building in Strasbourg [Photo Credit: EUObserver]

Airbnb backs creation of EU digital regulator in face of court victory

Europe: After its landmark court victory, Airbnb has expressed support for the creation of a digital regulation body.

It hopes that this body will be a part of discussions on the upcoming digital services act currently being proposed.

Airbnb’s court victory in the European Court of Justice declared it a digital services platform rather than a property agent. This allowed them to steer clear of complex European property regulations, but has left them in an odd legislative position.

The company had announced a partnership to provide cities with independently published data on their rentals within various cities.  They say that greater regulation of the sector can be good for both the company and individual cities.

The creation if an independent body could allow for greater mediation between companies and cities, Airbnb says. They hope that it would tamp down the tension between traditional hoteliers, cities and the various short-term rental platforms

Chris Lehane, Airbnb Senior VP of Global Experiences, said to Reuters: “While our thinking on this topic is still in its early stages … we are clear that we support calls for a single European oversight body for digital services. We strongly believe that housing policy and regulations of short-term rentals within that does need to take place at the local level.”

A digital tax is becoming a more common way of managing the growth of digital giants. France has implemented one of its own, with Poland and the UK aiming to follow.

The company has gone through significant regulatory fights in its largest markets in the US. New York has demanded host data from them, and because of violence in houses, the company has been forced to crack down on party houses in Los Angeles.

The creation of an external regulator would allow an open and controlled collaborative legislative system in the future.

Read the original story here.


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