The issue underlines the quandary regulators face in dealing with new online services venturing into traditional businesses, but not subjected to the same rules.
For Airbnb, the French case is significant as the International Olympic Committee has agreed to promote the company for accommodation during the 2024 Olympics in Paris.
judges, in essence, accepted the company’s arguments that it is an online platform and not a property agent.
According to Reuter, the court also faulted France for not notifying the European Commission, the EU executive, of the requirement for Airbnb to hold an estate agent’s professional license and Airbnb welcomed the judgment.
AHTOP, which has more than 30,000 members ranging from bed and breakfast places to youth hostels and real estate agents, urged France to change what it called were archaic rules.
The ruling will boost online platforms’ fight against similar issues in other countries, said Luca Tosoni, a researcher at the Norwegian Research Center for Computers and Law, Reuters reported.
Airbnb has in recent years dueled with hoteliers and authorities in cities from New York to Amsterdam, Berlin, and Paris, accused of worsening housing shortages and pushing out lower-income residents.