Airbnb provides information services and should not be seen as a real estate agent. The digital mediation in the rental and rental of houses and rooms that the American company offers therefore falls under the freedom of service.
The government may impose restrictions, for example to protect consumers, but that must be reported to the European Commission. Advocate General Maciej Szpunar of the European Court of Justice states that in an opinion to the judges. They usually follow such advice.
The case was brought by a judge in Paris after the French Public Prosecutor’s Office had sued Airbnb’s European headquarters in Ireland on the basis of a law on real estate transactions. As Airbnb operates legally from Ireland, France cannot simply impose restrictions on the company, Szpunar concludes.
Airbnb welcomes the advice. According to the company, this provides a clear overview of which rules apply to economic sharing platforms such as Airbnb and how they create opportunities for consumers. We also want to be good partners and work with more than five hundred governments around the world on measures to help hosts share their homes, follow the rules and pay their fair share in taxes. ”
Airbnb points out that several French authorities have already ruled that the platform’s activities are not covered by real estate legislation. The judgment of the EU court is expected later this year.