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Airbnb settles lawsuit with city of San Francisco

02 May 2017 | By Shiladitya Ray
Airbnb vs city of San Francisco

Airbnb Head of Global Policy Chris Lehane today announced that Airbnb had come to a settlement with the city of San Francisco over a lawsuit which the company had filed in 2016.

As part of the settlement, Airbnb will make a streamlined registration process which makes hosts register with San Francisco first before obtaining a business license from Airbnb.

In context: Airbnb vs city of San Francisco

LawsuitAirbnb sues city of San Francisco

In late-June 2016, Airbnb sued the city of San Francisco.

The suit was filed against a new law which required Airbnb to verify if its hosts were already registered with the city before allowing them to post ads for their homes online.

Airbnb and other technology advocates alleged that the new law violated the federal Communications Decency Act.

Airbnb's statement

"This legislation ignores the reality that the system is not working and this new approach will harm thousands of everyday San Francisco residents who depend on Airbnb. It also violates federal law," said Airbnb in a statement announcing the registration of the suit.
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San Francisco's housing problem

SF housing problemSan Francisco's housing problem

San Francisco, prior to the new law, was already imposing a host of restrictions on Airbnb against which the company had launched a campaign in mid-June 2016.

These processes were intended to help San Francisco, which is facing a housing crisis, restrict commercial renters who were taking their properties off the housing market and listing them for rent exclusively on Airbnb.

Penalties faced by Airbnb

Apart from the cumbersome registration processes Airbnb were required to undertake under San Francisco laws, the company also faced a fine of $1,000 per day if its hosts failed to register themselves with the city.

02 May 2017Airbnb settles lawsuit with city of San Francisco