Airbnb gets respite as Japan’s antitrust watchdog ends inspection of home-sharing platform

Airbnb . Photo: Reuters

Japan’s antitrust watchdog said on Wednesday it would end its inspection of the Japanese operations of Airbnb Inc as the U.S. home-sharing platform provider has taken appropriate measures to eliminate suspicion.

Japan Fair Trade Commission (JFTC) opened the probe because Airbnb had forced certain clients not to list properties on a rival website, a move that would undermine competition, said Yasuhiro Yoshikawa, a senior investigator.

JFTC, which made the first on-site inspection of Airbnb last October, would end the inspection because Airbnb had told their clients that the contract that kept them from listing on a rival website was no longer effective, Yoshikawa said.

These clients are host management companies, which provide various services for property owners, such as listing properties on the website, making reservations and arranging cleaning services.

JFTC said there were four such management companies which had contracts with Airbnb as of June, down from six a year earlier. But it did not provide the number of properties managed by these companies.

“We have cooperated fully with the JFTC and adjusted contracts in response to their inquiry,” Airbnb said in a statement. “We’re pleased this matter has come to a close.”

Japan’s home-sharing market shrank rapidly after the country in June introduced a home sharing law, which limits home-sharing to 180 days a year, a cap hosts say makes it difficult to turn a profit.

Also read:

China’s Airbnb rival Xiaozhu raises $300m from Jack Ma’s Yunfeng Capital

Reuters

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.

Singapore Reporter/s

In Singapore, we are looking to double our reporting team by this year-end to comprehensively cover the fast-moving world of funded startups and VC, PE & M&A deals. We want reporters who can tell our readers what is really happening in these sectors and why it matters to markets, companies and consumers. The ability to write precisely and urgently is crucial for these roles. Ideal candidates must have to ability to work in a collaborative, dynamic, and fast-changing environment. We want our new hires to be digitally savvy and ready to experiment with new forms of storytelling. Most importantly, we are looking for hard-hitting reporters who work well in a team. Collaboration and collegiality are a must.

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).

Following vacancies can be applied for (only in Singapore).   

  • A reporter to track companies/startups that have raised private capital, and have the potential to become unicorns. SEA currently has over 40 companies with a valuation of over $100 million and under $1 billion.
  • A reporter who can get behind the scenes and reveal how funding rounds are put together, or why they’ve failed to materialise. She/he in this role will largely focus on long-format stories. 
  • A journalist to track special situations funds, distressed debt and private credit (from the PE angle) across Asia.