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EC and EU consumer authorities force Airbnb to comply

Staff Writer |
The European Commission and EU consumer authorities are calling on Airbnb to align their terms and conditions with EU consumer rules and be transparent on their presentation of prices.

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Airbnb's current pricing presentation and a number of its terms do not comply with the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive, the Unfair Contract Terms Directive, and the Regulation on the jurisdiction in civil and commercial matters.

Therefore the European consumer authorities and the Commission have demanded from Airbnb a number of changes. The company has until the end of August to present their proposals.

Once Airbnb proposes solutions to rectify this, the Commission and the EU consumer authorities will review the proposed changes. If they are not considered satisfactory, Airbnb could face an enforcement action.

The presentation of Airbnb's pricing, as well as the distinction between private and professional hosts currently does not comply with the requirements of EU law, in particular the Unfair Commercial Practices Directive.

Airbnb should:

- modify the way it presents information on pricing from the initial search on their website, in order to ensure that, whenever properties are offered, the consumer is provided with the total price inclusive of all the applicable mandatory charges and fees, such as service and cleaning charges, or, when it is not possible to calculate the final price in advance, clearly inform the consumer that additional fees might apply;

- clearly identify if the offer is made by a private host or a professional, as the consumer protection rules differ.

Airbnb has now until the end of August to propose detailed solutions on how to bring its conduct in compliance with EU consumer legislation.

The Commission and the consumer authorities will meet, if needed, with Airbnb in September to solve any outstanding concern.

If the company's proposals are not considered satisfactory, consumer authorities could decide to resort to enforcement measures.

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