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Airbnb Case Against NYC Stayed as Parties Discuss Potential Settlement

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London, UK - July 31, 2018: The buttons of the travel app Airbnb, surrounded by Amazon, ebay, News and other apps on the screen of an iPhone.

Counsel for Airbnb and the City of New York have filed a joint letter requesting a temporary stay for the consolidated actions, and for summary judgment motion deadlines. The parties requested the stay while they discuss a potential settlement. The letter stated, “[i]n light of the preliminary injunction in these actions, a temporary stay would not affect the status quo, and could avoid burdening the Court, as well as the parties, with unnecessary litigation.” The parties will keep the Court updated about the potential settlement within 30 days. The court granted the motion to stay.

In the complaint, Airbnb sued the City of New York for a local law, which it alleged “is an extraordinary act of government overreach.” According to Airbnb, the new law was proposed by the city’s hotel lobby to try to get New Yorkers to not participate in home-sharing. The Homesharing Surveillance Ordinance “requires homesharing platforms to turn over an unprecedented amount of intimate personal data about their New York City hosts and whom they invite into their homes each month to a government enforcement agency…that works shoulder to shoulder with private investigators hired and paid by the hotel lobby.” Airbnb claimed that this law is unconstitutional and violates its First and Fourth Amendment rights, as well as the Stored Communications Act. Airbnb sought for the court to declare that the Homesharing Surveillance Ordinance violates the aforementioned Constitutional clauses and statutes, to prevent implementation and enforcement of the new piece of law, and to award relief.

Airbnb was granted a preliminary injunction “enjoining Local Law 2018/146, N.Y.C. Admin. Code § 26-2101-5, and such other relief as this Court deems just and proper.”

Airbnb is represented by Sullivan & Cromwell, as well as Kaplan Hecker & Fink. The suit is filed in the New York Southern District Court. The defendant’s opposition and reply are due on February 21.

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