Assembly Bill AB 8704-4 prohibited advertising in "a class A multiple dwelling for other than permanent residence purposes." The bill would allow authorities to issue up to $7,500 in fines for residences listed on Airbnb and similar sites, and housing advocates argued that the website was making it difficult to find affordable housing. Airbnb argued that the law was unconstitutional, and that it would "impose real harm on our community." New York Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the bill into law earlier this fall, even after the company attempted to change some of its policies. Hours after the bill was signed into law, Airbnb sued the city.
On Friday, the company agreed to settle, "as long as New York City only enforces the new law against hosts and does not fine Airbnb itself." The move is a major blow for Airbnb, because other major cities have been watching this case.
This isn’t the first time that the company has backed down: earlier this year, it sued the city of San Francisco to block a law that would require hosts to register with the city. The law requires the site to remove unregistered listings from its website, and last month, it agreed to cooperate with the city.