December 7, 2016
SAN FRANCISCO — When Airbnb started talking to the city of New Orleans last year about how to regulate the short-term rental market there, the company was fighting policy battles in places such as New York City and Barcelona. New Orleans officials said they sensed that the bruising global confrontations might make the online room-rental company more willing to compromise than in the past. So as both sides worked together to reach a deal to legalize short-term rentals in the city of 390,000, New Orleans gained concessions from Airbnb that few other towns have received. The new rules, which include provisions for data sharing and registering hosts, were passed by the New Orleans City Council last week. Airbnb’s modus operandi in New Orleans reflects a move by the company to be more conciliatory with some local governments, especially after a year of tough regulatory battles globally. Working well with local lawmakers has become increasingly important for Airbnb, a privately held company based in San Francisco that is valued at $30 billion and that needs to continue to expand its business to justify that valuation….