Barcelona steps up crackdown on Airbnb, threatens further fines

By Catherine Bennett MADRID (Reuters) – Authorities in Barcelona have stepped up a crackdown on homes illegally rented out to tourists via homesharing websites such as Airbnb, ordering hundreds to be removed from listings and hitting firms with a fine, while threatening more in the future. Barcelona is not the only European city to take a swipe at Airbnb, which has rapidly expanded across the globe and often come into conflict with local rules. Barcelona's town hall said on Wednesday it would fine both Airbnb and fellow online rental firm, Homeaway, 60,000 euros ($66,918) each.

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