Company or individual details
- Airbnb Ireland (Ireland Company Registration Number 511825)
The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has accepted a court enforceable undertaking from Airbnb Ireland in relation to price representations made on its Australian online platforms likely to contravene sections 18 and 29 of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL).
The Airbnb group of companies operate online platforms (i.e. website, mobile site, and apps) around the world as a marketplace connecting travelers with local accommodation hosts.
Airbnb Ireland, a subsidiary of Airbnb Inc., has operated the Airbnb online platforms accessible by consumers located in Australia since November 2012. Airbnb Ireland charges the travelling consumer a mandatory service fee for making an accommodation booking on these online platforms, and may also charge or pass on other fees including a cleaning fee which, when applied by a host, is mandatory.
The ACCC considers that since about November 2012, in certain instances, Airbnb Ireland engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct and made misleading representations by failing to adequately disclose mandatory service fees and/or cleaning fees on Search Results pages and/or individual Accommodation Listing pages on one or more of its Australian online booking platforms. Whether or not Airbnb Ireland provided adequate disclosure of these fees in many cases depended on whether the consumer had already selected their preferred accommodation dates.
Aribnb Ireland has acknowledged the ACCC’s concerns. To address them, Airbnb Ireland provided the ACCC with a section 87B undertaking that, by no later than 31 December 2015, it will not:
- represent a headline price without including, when it is quantifiable, mandatory fees, including the Service Fee and any applicable Cleaning Fee, when consumers search for accommodation listings on all websites, mobile sites and application software operated by Airbnb Ireland for the purposes of allowing Australian consumers to book accommodation; and
- represent a headline price without disclosing, when it is not quantifiable, the existence of the mandatory fees, including the Service Fee and any applicable Cleaning Fee, when consumers search for accommodation listings on all websites, mobile sites and application software operated by Airbnb Ireland for the purposes of allowing Australian consumers to book accommodation.
Airbnb Ireland has also undertaken to establish and implement a Compliance Program for a period of three years which is designed to minimise Airbnb Ireland’s risk of future breaches of the ACL and to ensure its awareness of the responsibilities and obligations in relation to ACL requirements.