(Bloomberg) -- Airbnb Inc. has passed a European Union review, and now can enjoy its summer vacation.
The online platform was given an ultimatum a year ago to meet EU standards in its terms and conditions and how it presents holiday-home prices, or face a regulatory clampdown. The European Commission on Thursday said as a result of negotiations with Airbnb, the company “has improved and fully clarified” how it presents accommodations to its users.
“For these summer holidays, Europeans will simply get what they see when they book,” EU Justice and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Vera Jourova said in a statement. “I am very satisfied that Airbnb stood ready to cooperate with the European Commission and national consumer protection authorities to improve the way its platform works. I expect other platforms to follow suit.”’
Airbnb burst onto the scene a decade ago by persuading millions of people to open their homes to strangers -- starting a trend for adventurous vacationers looking for unique and cheap accommodations. It’s faced criticism, including from landlords, of violating zoning laws and operating as an illegal hotel. Critics have also said abundant short-term rentals drive up housing costs and disrupt neighborhoods.
The commission said Airbnb changed its terms by clarifying that, if needed, users can bring court cases against the platform in their own country. Airbnb also clarified prices to prevent users getting surprise extra fees, shows if an accommodation is offered by a private or professional host and added a link to an online dispute resolution platform to its website.
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