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Airbnb Inc. Agreed to Comply with Subpoena

Airbnb Inc. is a company based in San Francisco, and it allows its customers to rent a couch, a bedroom or a house from a host and makes money by charging a fee for each transaction. It has listings in about 34,000 cities around the world according to Bloomberg News. State regulations generally prohibit short-term rentals of entire private homes.

Airbnb Inc. has agreed to comply with a subpoena by the New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman in his probing of the popular home-sharing service and whether or not it allows users to run illegal hotels by providing information on the hosts.

Eric Schneiderman’s office alleges that more than 60 percent of the service’s listings in New York City on Jan. 31 appeared to violate a 2010 law targeting illicit hotels.

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According to a copy of the accord, Airbnb Inc. will provide information about all hosts in New York, omitting their names and other personal information.

Matt Mittenthal, an Eric Schneiderman’s spokesman, had previously reported that Airbnb Inc. was “shielding hosts who may be violating a law that provides vital protections for building residents and tourists,” according to a report by Bloomberg News.

According to Biz Journals, the judge found evidence that a “substantial” number of Airbnb Inc. hosts may be violating tax laws and rules that prohibit illegal hotels, and that Eric Schneiderman’s earlier October subpoena was not unduly burdensome and that the information the Attorney General requested was not confidential.

“We are pleased that we reached this agreement, but we know there is so much yet to be done. For instance, the law that made this investigation possible is still on the books, and we need to change that law to allow anyone in New York who wants to rent out their own home to do so,” the company writes on its website.

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Image credit: www.techcrunch.com

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