Airbnb Vs. New York City: The Defining Fight of the Sharing Economy


Oct 13, 2013 11:12 am

Skift Take

The answer, as always, lies somewhere in the middle.

— Rafat Ali

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The sharing economy, or as some call it the collaborative consumption economy, is still in its early infancy and companies like AirbnbLyftRelayRides and their peers are the hottest topic in the startup world right now.

The legality of these startups has been in the grey from the start, as they push against the incumbent laws and regulations, and New York City, by being a dense urban environment where sharing comes naturally, has become a very high profile platform for some of these fights.

Airbnb is the biggest fight of them all, with rentals being a war game in our teeming city. Every generation that moves into New York City has its own rental stories, and ours is Airnbnb vs NYC.

Skift has covered all aspects of this fight, starting with our long investigative piece in January this year about the Airbnb and all the issues it has in NYC. Since then, that story has been cited everywhere and the headline number that half of its listings in the city are illegal has become the lingo among city and state lawmakers. Airbnb has fought back in some high profile cases, and is now girding for the long fight.

However New York City’s regulations shake out in this high-profile case, so will the rest of the nation and possibly the world over, at least in large cities.

We have kept a harsh light on all the sides and issues involved, and have done about 20 stories since.

The history of those issues, in links, in chronological order:

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