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Airbnb probed for antitrust violations in Japan

Agents allegedly prevented from listing on other websites

College students from Taiwan stay at an Airbnb home in Tokyo. The company said 5.85 million guests used its platform in Japan last year.

TOKYO -- Airbnb is under investigation in Japan for possibly breaching antitrust law, suspected of making agents for hosts promise not to use rival home-sharing platforms.

"What is this exclusivity clause?" thought a property manager in June after reading an Airbnb contract to the effect that agents posting and managing properties for owners could not use other websites. In exchange, they would gain access to availability and other vital data compiled by Airbnb.

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