Airbnb, others sued in France for alleged unfair practices

Markets Associated Press

A group of French hoteliers and real estate agents has launched a lawsuit targeting accommodation-rental platforms, including Airbnb, arguing that their practices amount to unfair competition.

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Lawyer Guillaume Navarro said they want French authorities to impose the same rules on them as those regulating the traditional rental market.

The group, which targets other vacation rental portals like HomeAway and Wimdu, is accusing the platforms of offering a string of tourism services, including tour operator and insurance services, without proper authorization.

Navarro told The Associated Press on Wednesday that the online platforms are making the most of a "grey zone" in which they are not on the same level playing field with competitors to save money and tedious paperwork.

France is the world's second biggest Airbnb market after the United States.