Japanese antitrust regulators raided last month the offices of Airbnb over suspected violations of antitrust laws, the home rental site said on Friday, November 17, denying any wrongdoing.
The Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) carried out an on-site inspection of Airbnb and the company is cooperating with the regulators’ investigation, Airbnb Japan said.
Regulators seized documents from Airbnb in Tokyo on suspicion that it broke antitrust rules by asking users not to list properties on rival sites, according to the Nikkei business daily.
“All hosts and partners in Japan who list properties on Airbnb are able to list them on other platforms, and we will work with the JFTC to address any questions they may have,” a Singapore-based Airbnb spokesman said.
The Nikkei said that Airbnb forced some users to sign contracts promising not to use other sites. The Airbnb spokesman said this was not the case.
Airbnb competes with hotels and other traditional forms of lodging from bed and breakfasts to holiday outlets by helping people rent out their homes or apartments, either in full or as part of a house-share.