Airbnb wins court case

Airbnb wins court case

18-05-2020Airbnb

The High Court in the Balearics (TSJB) has ruled in favour of Airbnb and annulled the €300,000 fine imposed by the Government in 2018, for marketing Tourist Apartments not registered with the the Ministry of Innovation, Research & Tourism.

The TSJB argues that the activity of Airbnb is covered by a Community Directive, which clashes with the Regional Regulation of inserting the Ministry of Tourism’s registration number.

The Government amended the General Tourism Law in July 2017 to tighten control over illegal Tourist Accommodation stating that adverts for Tourist Apartments and Holiday homes "must include the Tourist Registration Number for the property."

On November 28, 2017, the Department of Tourism discovered that Airbnb was marketing unregistered Tourist Apartments and gave the website 15 days to withdraw the adverts.

In February 2018, Tourism Inspectors found that Airbnb was still violating the Tourism Regulations and initiated the sanctions, charging Airbnb with the commission of a very serious Tourism infraction.

Airbnb launched a series of legal actions, but the Ministry of Innovation, Research & Tourism slapped a €300,000 fine on the website.

A subsequent appeal was dismissed, forcing Airbnb to go to court to avoid paying the fine, which has resulted in the TSJB ruling dated April 29, 2020.

The judgment explains that, as Article 15 of Directive 2000/31/EC of the European Parliament on electronic commerce in the internal market applies, 'screenshots may not serve as proof of charge which would undermine the principle of presumption of innocence or administrative liability. '

The TSJB ruling specifies that Airbnb cannot be forced to carry out a thorough and detailed review of all adverts published on its website.

"Therefore, it follows from this precept that the obligation to insert the number must be addressed by the Tourist Company that issues it, not the company that owns the website that advertises the offer," it states.

The TSJB added that Airbnb is protected by the exemptions from liability provided for in Directive 2000/31/EC.

The court order also specifies that the Government's sanction would violate the object of the Community Directive "by colliding with EU law and National law,” giving priority to the Community rule over Spanish law.

The TSJB declared the CAIB sanction null and void but the Government says it will appeal the court's ruling.

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john hughes / Hace 6 days

B Barcelo are paid by the hotels and used their power to enact the law and the courts could see through the corruption .

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Ms / Hace 11 days

It was a stupid law from the beginning! The Bolsheviks, before they were seizing the properties, they were telling property owners what they can do and cannot do with their buildings or what to do with their farms. Even if the Spanish courts wouldn't stop this stupidity, The Strasbourg court would fine the goverment (so at the end of they day taxpayers would pay for it). Want to fight Airbnb, Uber, Google or Amazon? Create the law where innovative businesses, bold thinking and taking risks are promoted in Spain not in California!

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