In London, Airbnb Surprises by Being Humble

"Sharing economy" companies need cities more than cities need them.

No listing for Buckingham Palace.

Photographer: Jack Taylor/Getty Images

Despite their reputation as argumentative, litigious and impatient with regulation, "sharing economy" companies sometimes voluntarily go along with local rules to avoid even worse regulatory problems. Airbnb announced that, starting next spring, it will follow a directive in London that would make it impossible for hosts to rent out entire houses or apartments for more than 90 days a year.

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