Analysts have upgraded the estimated value of Airbnb. It used to be valued at $40Billion, but a new report estimates its value as closer to $60Billion, higher than the largest hotel chain and now within breathing distance of the $100Billion Priceline group.
However size does not mean perfection, and this week the EU has given Airbnb an ultimatum to fix transparency of its pricing.
All very sad really, Airbnb has known for a long time that consumer watchdogs do not like hidden add-on fees.
Way back in 2015, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) took Airbnb to task over undisclosed fees. Airbnb said at the time: “We’ve taken note of the ACCC’s concerns, and we’ll be working to make sure our platform addresses those concerns.” They quickly fixed the problem in Australia, but chose to thumb their nose at the rest of the world.
Maybe this is a USA cultural problem where adding undisclosed fees is a way of life? A steak can be prominently advertised at the window of a NYC restaurant for $20, but the hapless diner is typically up for $26 once 3 different taxes and a tip are added!
Now that Airbnb is a market leader, it is time to be transparent with fees everywhere in the world.