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Airbnb will offer compensation worth about $154 per customer. Remember, Airbnb: That's $230 in Australian dollars.

Australia’s Federal Court has ordered Airbnb to pay about $10 million ($15 million Australian) in penalties after violating consumer protection laws through misleading pricing, said the country’s competition watchdog on Wednesday.

Consumers saw prices for rooms that appeared to be in Australian dollars when they were actually priced in U.S. dollars.

Airbnb admitted it had misled 63,000 Australian consumers on its site and apps between January 2018 and August 2021, said the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission.

Airbnb will also offer up to about $10 million ($15 million) in compensation to affected consumers.

“While only a very small percentage of Australian guests are believed to have been impacted, we are disappointed that this happened,” Airbnb said in a statement. “Airbnb would like to apologize to those guests.”

More than 2,000 consumers complained to Airbnb about being charged in U.S. dollars by mistake, according to the competition watchdog. The regulator claimed that in a number of cases, Airbnb responded by blaming the traveler, even when it was at fault. The case was filed in 2022.


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Tags: airbnb, australia, competition, fines, online travel, online travel agencies, short-term rentals

Photo credit: Figurines are seen in front of the Airbnb logo in this illustration taken February 27, 2022. Illustration by Dado Ruvic. Source: Reuters.

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