Airbnb says it will pay $1.5m to settle claims over car rental

AUSTRALIA’S biggest hotel chain has agreed to pay $6.4 million to settle a US$100 million lawsuit accusing it of illegally charging hotel guests to rent cars.

Airbnb agreed to settle the lawsuit in November, but has not disclosed the amount it paid.

A statement released today said the settlement would pay $625,000 to be distributed to a non-profit organisation that supports victims of discrimination, in addition to the $1,5 million paid by the US.

The organisation, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), alleged that Airbnb’s policies violated its anti-discrimination laws.

It also alleged that the company did not comply with its obligation to disclose the number of customers who were being charged to rent a car, and that its refusal to comply with federal and state laws meant it could not be held accountable for discriminating.

“This settlement will help ensure that people can enjoy the freedom to travel when they want to, and we will continue to fight for fair treatment for all,” the company said in a statement.

“The settlement does not represent an admission of guilt or liability on our part.”

In addition to settling the case, Airbnb will pay the US$50,000 it paid in a separate lawsuit, which was filed by two women who said they were sexually assaulted at Airbnb.

Airbus said it would continue to work with law enforcement to combat “hate crimes and discriminatory practices”.

“As we continue to ensure the safety of our guests and guests’ communities, we have also taken steps to create an enforcement system that is fair and transparent,” it said.

“We will continue this work with the DOJ and the Civil Rights Division, and continue to advocate for fair and inclusive hospitality in America.”