Airbnb in Amsterdam (A)
In February 2014, Amsterdam became the first city to issue new regulations specifically to allow home-sharing. Airbnb's Molly Turner, Global Head of Civic Partnerships; her colleagues at the San Francisco based home-sharing platform; and her counterparts in Amsterdam's city leadership now had to make the new rules function well. By the summer of 2014, the question of how exactly to do that remained unsettled. A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that Airbnb was negotiating with Amsterdam officials to supplement the new home-sharing rules was not materializing. Turner was hearing that the company's proposed commitments that spanned education on regulations, enforcement-assistance, and tax collection might not be enough to secure what would be Airbnb's broadest partnership with any city anywhere. Nanette Schippers was Amsterdam's Advisor on the Sharing Economy in its Innovation Office, and its lead at the negotiating table that summer. She was worried by the stand-still, too. A primary reason for the impasse in the negotiations was that Amsterdam wanted access to Airbnb's data in order to enforce the new laws more easily, while Airbnb sought to protect user privacy. For Airbnb, privacy, precedents and platform principles were at stake. For Amsterdam, it was a matter of making sure that the historic city did not become "Venice, or Florence, or 'Disneyland'"; that it wasn't overrun by visitors and that locals weren't crowded out. Could the two parties now find dry land?