The Supreme Court Ruled That He Was In Conflict With The Government Because Of The Tourist Apartment Problem.

2021-01-27   |   by CusiGO

In a December ruling, the Supreme Court overturned an order from the Catalan government requiring homeAway to remove from its website advertisements for tourist apartments that incorrectly contain its registration number as tourist apartments. As a result, the third division of the dispute chamber ruled on the company’s appeal in a collegiate decision, noting that the Catalan government could not leave “its duty of supervision” to the website.

These incidents can be traced back to January 2015, when homeAway span (now affiliated to Expedia group in the United States, so it was renamed VRBO span) received an order from the government tourism administration. The ban urges him to block, delete or permanently suspend all travel apartment advertisements that are not on the Catalan travel accommodation register within 15 days. The case sparked a legal dispute, with the Catalan High Court (TSC) ruling in favor of the government in 2018, which has now been overturned.

In their reasoning, the Supreme Court judge pointed out that VRBO is an information society service provider and therefore has the obligation to delete or prohibit its access to advertisements when the government declares that it has violated its legal obligations and notifies it. “There is no doubt that the accommodation rental activities referred to in the content stored on the appellant’s website are legal, and there is no doubt that they are legal in the opposite direction, According to the chamber, advertisements for tourist accommodation within Catalonia territory that do not include a tourist registration number will constitute administrative infringement. “.

However, the reason why the high court judge and TSC did not agree was that TSC held that homeAway, as a service provider, did not engage in neutral activities and therefore did not assume any responsibility for the content published on its portal. The dispute chamber held that this conclusion was wrong because the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled on a similar case after it filed a lawsuit against airbnb in 2019. According to the Supreme Court’s ruling, homeAway is engaged in intermediary work unique to the information society, and its activities are regulated by its own rules rather than the rules of the tourism sector.

Therefore, the judgment held that Catalonia’s tourism regulations “are not sufficient to claim that homeAway span is effectively aware of the illegality of some users on its website who do not include the travel registration number of the accommodation in their advertisements”. In fact, the chamber noted that the website could also provide residential advertisements, which do not need to be registered under the same law. “This situation and the nature of intermediary services, According to the provisions already proposed by the court of justice of the European Union, its services are only related to basic activities, so non-compliance with a number of administrative requirements should not be regarded as a blatant violation, as the existence of these requirements forces PSII (Social Service Provider) to take action By judgment, this is a problem

For the same reason, the judges concluded that homeAway / VRBO “has an obligation to delete or prohibit access to advertisements in breach of its obligations, provided that the competent authority has declared non-compliance and sent it to the website.”. But he reminded the general, “he can’t transfer his duty of surveillance to this home.”