Airbnb will be breathing a sigh of relief today: Europe’s top court has judged it to be an online platform, which merely connects people looking for short-term accommodation, rather than a full-blown estate agent.
The ruling may make it harder for the “home sharing” platform to be forced to comply with local property regulations — at least under current regional rules governing e-commerce platforms.
The judgement by the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) today follows a complaint made by a French tourism association, AHTOP, which had argued Airbnb should hold a professional estate agent licence. And, that by not having one, the platform giant was in breach of a piece of French legislation known as the “Hoguet Law.”
However, the court disagreed — siding with Airbnb’s argument that its business must be classified as an “information society service” under EU Directive 2000/31 on electronic commerce.
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