BOOKING.COM TO PAY 1.2 MILLION EUROS TO THE CITY OF PARIS

Samuel Dorsi - Oct 25, 2021
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After Airbnb, it is Booking's turn to be condemned by the City of Paris judicial court to pay 1.234 million euros as a fine.

The reason for the conflict? Booking com had not transmitted certain information to the city, in particular concerning the number of days during which furnished tourist accommodations were rented.

Since the entry into force of the ELAN law in 2019, platforms are obliged to transmit to cities the balance of their rentals so that they can verify their legality and carry out controls if necessary, recalls the Paris municipality in a statement issued following the court decision.

However, several platforms had refused from the outset to obey this rule. The City of Paris had chosen to sue nine platforms for this reason, including Booking com, the largest of them, with nearly 3,000 ads concerned. Specifically, Paris attacked the Dutch platform for non-transmission of data for the years 2019 and 2020, because Booking sent its data for 2021, says the city.

"We are at a turning point in the regulation of furnished tourist accommodations," emphasizes Ian Brossat, deputy mayor of Paris in charge of housing, quoted in the statement. The City of Paris had already opened fire with Airbnb, which had previously been ordered to pay more than 8 million euros to the City of Paris on the regulation of seasonal rentals.

In fact, thousands of ads promote Parisian accommodation without a registration number on Airbnb, which is mandatory on the ads of customers. As a reminder, this number must allow counting the nights, limited to 120 per year, of the renters. Beyond these 120 nights, renters must request a change of use of their home from the Paris City Hall.

In recent years, the European Commission has taken actions to make consumer transactions on Booking com more transparent. In particular, Booking com, like Expedia, has agreed to clarify their postings, such as which offers are featured, how payments received by accommodation providers have influenced rankings, how many people would like to make a reservation at the same hotel for the same dates, and how many rooms remain available on the website.

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