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22nd Sep 2019

Airbnb agrees to clarify pricing for EU

  • Airbnb will list prices in a more transparent way, EU commissioner for justice Vera Jourova told journalists on Thursday (Photo: European Union)

The accommodation-renting website, Airbnb, has agreed to change its terms of service to clarify legal remedies consumers can bring against it, and will also list prices in a more transparent way, EU commissioner for justice Vera Jourova told journalists on Thursday (20 September).

"The changes will be fully functional by the end of the year," Jourova said. She had called on the San Francisco-based website in July to better inform consumers of their rights, because it was in breach of EU rules.

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  • The San Francisco-based airbnb started life as renting out spare rooms - but now must differentiate between professional and 'amateur' hosts (Photo: Airbnb)

"We have been saying that EU consumers must have the same rights selling and purchasing online and offline," she added.

Airbnb has committed to listing the total price of bookings, including any extra fees, local taxes or cleaning fees in the final price.

The company has also committed to clearly identify whether an offer is made by a private host or by a professional, as the consumer protection rules differ for each.

It will also change its terms of agreement to make it clear to consumers all the legal remedies available to them.

Airbnb said in a statement that it regularly analyses and updates its practices, including making its terms and policies clearer and easier for users to access and understand.

"We are continually looking at ways to update and improve our price display to ensure it is as efficient for our community as possible," the statement added.

Facebook

The EU's justice chief also gave a warning to US social media giant Facebook to comply with EU consumer rules by the end of the year or face sanctions.

The commissioner wants Facebook to better inform users how the company uses their data.

"My patience has reached its limit. While Facebook assured me to finally adapt any remaining misleading terms of services by December, this has been ongoing for too long," Jourova said.

Jourova had called on the company to bring in line with EU rules their methods on how they inform users about content removal or contract terminations.

Facebook can face sanctions from national consumer protection authorities in the next year if there is not sufficient progress.

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