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Australia Sues Airbnb With Allegations Of Duping Customers Into Paying More

Amid the widening scrutiny against global technology platforms, the Australian antitrust watchdog has filed a lawsuit against Airbnb Inc (NASDAQ: ABNB), accusing it of misleading users into paying more.

Benzinga · 06/09/2022 06:10

Amid the widening scrutiny against global technology platforms, the Australian antitrust watchdog has filed a lawsuit against Airbnb Inc (NASDAQ:ABNB), accusing it of misleading users into paying more.

What Happened: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), in a court filing, said the vacation rentals company, between at least January 2018 and August 2021, misled customers by advertising and charging room rates in the U.S. dollars without indicating the figures in Australian dollars.

ACCC Chair Gina Cass-Gottlieb said Airbnb did not compensate many consumers who had about being misled. "So we will be arguing that the court should order Airbnb to compensate people who were misled about the price of their accommodation," she added.

The firm also refused to refund currency conversion fees, claiming they were the banks' responsibility.

According to the lawsuit, the Australian dollar bought an average of 72 U.S. cents during the time, meaning that a customer renting an accommodation advertised at $500 would actually pay around AU$700 plus foreign exchange fees.

Price Action: According to data from Benzinga Pro, Airbnb shares traded mostly unchanged in the premarket session on Thursday.