Europe's top court says Airbnb need not comply with French real estate rules

LUXEMBOURG, Dec 19 (Reuters) - U.S. homesharing site Airbnb need not comply with French real estate laws as France has not informed the European Commission of this requirement, Europe’s top court said on Thursday.

The case came before the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) following a complaint by French tourism association AHTOP.

“France cannot require Airbnb to hold an estate agent’s professional licence as it did not notify the Commission of that requirement in accordance with the directive on electronic commerce,” judge said.

Airbnb has in recent years dueled with hoteliers and authorities in cities from New York to Amsterdam, Berlin and Paris, accused of worsening housing shortages and pushing out lower income residents.

The case is C-390/18 Airbnb Ireland. (Reporting by Michele Sinner, writing by Foo Yun Chee;)