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Airbnb Drops NYC Lawsuit

Airbnb Inc. said it has agreed to drop a lawsuit against New York City challenging a law imposing penalties on people who post short-term apartment rentals in the company’s biggest U.S. market. In exchange, regulators won’t seek to punish the company itself. Officials have said that the law was never intended to go after Airbnb directly anyway, but described the settlement as a full capitulation by the company. The state legislation punishes people advertising rentals of less than 30 days with fines of as much as $7,500. Airbnb sued to block the law just hours after it was signed on Oct. 21, claiming the restrictions are unconstitutional. A month later, Airbnb settled with New York state, with both sides agreeing that enforcement was up to the city. Airbnb faces pressure from governments around the world, which say home rentals contribute to housing shortages and drive up prices for residents. The company sued San Francisco and other cities in California to block enforcement of their own laws that would penalize it for hosts’ activities on the site. Legal and regulatory questions remain a major hurdle for a potential initial public offering for Airbnb, which was valued at $30 billion by investors this year. To read more at Skift, click here.

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