The German Minister of Economic Affairs, Sigmar Gabriel has called for a stronger regulation of booking platforms and portals such as Airbnb.
The minister said that many companies of the “sharing economy” were only successful because they ignored the insurance and liability issues. These booking platforms also do not pay taxes of their revenues properly. Mr. Gabriel said that at the tourism industry day organized by the German hotel and catering association (DEHOGA) in Berlin.
“I have not heard of such case so far. Politics and cartel authorities must ensure fair competition. It is not a matter of slowing down the digital development. But I think a framework for it needs to be designed,” Minister Gabriel added.
The Monopolies Commission is also proposing a better regulatory framework for intermediary platforms such as Uber or rental provider Airbnb. At the accommodation booking platform Airbnb, for example, thresholds should be introduced to those who exceed the occasional short-term rentals.
The income from private leasing activities should be taxed and local tourism taxes or duties paid. Digital intermediary services should also be increasingly involved in the enforcement of tax regulations.