Airbnb sues San Francisco

Airbnb sues San Francisco
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Airbnb has sued the city of San Francisco over laws passed to govern home sharing, it said on Monday night.

The company said in a blog post that it had tried to educate its users about registering as hosts under city law, even though it said the underlying rules do not work.


“Despite these challenges, we had ongoing conversations with policymakers in City Hall and sought to encourage hosts to register in order to make the process work,” the company said.

In June, however, the city passed new rules requiring that Airbnb and similar sites only post listings from registered hosts will take effect. They face fines up to $1,000 a day if they do not comply.

“But instead of fixing the process, the Board of Supervisors recently passed a hastily-crafted proposal requiring Airbnb to remove all unregistered hosts,” the company said. “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.”

The company claims that the rules violate the First Amendment, the Communications Decency Act and the Stored Communications Act.

“While we have attempted to work with the City on sensible, lawful alternatives to this flawed new ordinance, we regret that we are forced to now ask a federal court to intervene in this matter,” the company said.

Airbnb has been aggressive in fighting off challenges from the hotel industry and its political allies. It has also faced the criticism, however, that it drives up rental prices and damages communities.

The company said last year that it would launch clubs around the country to support laws favorable to its business — part of a larger strategy lead by veteran political operative Chris Lehane.