Airbnb cedes to EU pressure on price offers


BRUSSELS: Airbnb has successfully fended off Brussels regulators in time for the summer holidays by agreeing to change how it presents rental prices to consumers, the EU said on July 10. 

“For these summer holidays, Europeans will simply get what they see when they book their holidays,” said EU Justice and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Vera Jourova 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 fees on the following pages”, the commission said. 

These surprise costs include so-called “service” or cleaning costs, and local taxes that can significantly mark up the final price. 

Airbnb has also agreed to make it clearer whether an offer is marketed by a private host or by a professional. It will provide simplified access on its website to an “online dispute resolution” procedure.  

The commission also noted that the company had reviewed 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 stood ready to cooperate with the European Commission and national consumer protection authorities to improve the way its platform works,” Jourova said.  

“I expect other platforms to follow,” she said. – AFP


   

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