Sat | Dec 14, 2019

Paris mayor disturbed by new Olympic sponsor Airbnb

Published:Monday | November 18, 2019 | 5:09 PM
In this October 2, 2019, file photo, International Olympic Committee president Thomas Bach speaks at the opening of the executive board meeting of the IOC at the Olympic House in Lausanne, Switzerland. (Laurent Gillieron/Keystone via AP, File)

LONDON (AP) — The International Olympic Committee signed up Airbnb as an Olympic sponsor sparking concerns from 2024 host city Paris that the home-sharing company is contributing to the rising cost of rents in the French capital.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who has been at odds with Airbnb in recent years, set out her issues with the platform to IOC President Thomas Bach last week after news of the sponsorship leaked.

Hidalgo wrote to Bach to “alert him of the risks and consequences” of the International Olympic Committee deal, Paris city hall told The Associated Press.

At the Airbnb sponsorship announcement on Monday morning, Bach was asked about criticism of Airbnb, including pricing people out of cities.

“It is quite normal that such a disruptive business then needs to settle and needs regulation,” Bach said, before details of the Paris complaint were known.

“This is happening in a dialogue with Airbnb and cities and countries.”

Paris took legal action against the platform this year in a bid to have the company fined 12.5 million euros for allowing owners to rent their properties without having them properly registered.

In her letter, Hidalgo expressed her “absolute determination to make sure regulations relating to rental platforms are reinforced.”

In 2012, Airbnb had 4,000 Paris-area listings.

That surged to more than 40,000 by 2015, when Airbnb CEO Brian Chesky was welcomed at city hall.

Last year, Paris city hall said there were about 60,000 Airbnb listings in Paris.

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