Munger, Tolles & Olson represented Airbnb in securing a favorable settlement on May 1, 2017 with the City of San Francisco in litigation challenging a city ordinance that would impose fines on hosting platforms for failing to verify unregistered rentals on their websites as violating the Communications Decency Act, and the First Amendment.
The Washington Post described the case as showing the “payoff to going up against regulators” and “a bellwether for how far start-ups can go to test government.” According to the settlement, Airbnb will develop a “pass-through” registration system for home-sharing platforms that will enable prospective hosts to send registration application information directly to the city for consideration.
Airbnb brought the claim in June 2016 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California challenging a proposed city ordinance that would require home-sharing platforms to remove listings from users who have not registered their unit with the city.
The Munger Tolles team representing Airbnb includes Jonathan H. Blavin, Joshua Patashnik and John B. Major.