Airbnb seemed to be sucking wind after its political foes delivered it a gut punch Wednesday.
The City Council voted 45-0 in favor of a bill backed by the hotel industry and its union allies, a measure that will require the company to disclose to law enforcement the names and addresses attached to every one of its listings in the five boroughs. The legislation, expected to by signed by Mayor Bill de Blasio, will help the city to crack down on anyone violating state law by using the site to rent an apartment for fewer than 30 days.
The sole consolation for Airbnb was that the final draft of the bill lowered the fines the city can levy against the firm for every case of noncompliance to just $1,500, down from the original bill's range of $5,000 to $25,000.
The vote followed months of bitter public recriminations between the tech giant on one side and the city's traditional lodging interests and Hotel Trades Council on the other. On the morning of the vote, Airbnb labeled its loss "bellhop politics," and announced it would fund a lawsuit against the city brought by a host who claimed authorities targeted him after he testified at a council hearing.