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Cities worldwide join forces to write rulebook for Uber and Airbnb

The newly formed alliance will be led by the mayors of New York and Paris.

Airbnb and Uber have offered consumers more choice, but many cities have banned the services for regulatory reasons.
John MacDougall/AFP/Getty Images

Uber and Airbnb may be much loved by their customers, but the ride-hailing app and accommodation rental service have caused havoc the world over by challenging the status quo.

Mayors from 10 cities announced an alliance on Tuesday to help them better regulate Uber, Airbnb and others of their ilk, often known as sharing-economy companies. By writing a rulebook together, the mayors hope to make their position on companies setting up shop in their cities clearer and stronger, Bloomberg reports.

New York and Paris are set to take the lead on the project, with representatives joining them from cities including Barcelona, Seoul, Athens and Toronto. The mayors met for the first time last month in Amsterdam. Paris -- Airbnb's most popular destination -- is calling for a framework of guidelines to be published by October.

If the framework comes together it could become easier for future sharing-economy companies to plan their entry into multiple new markets and reduce the number of lawsuits and other roadblocks they encounter along the way. Only on Monday this week, short-term Airbnb rentals were faced with a proposal for tighter regulation in New York. But new rules could also benefit Uber and Airbnb customers.

Currently the experience of using these services can vary from city to city, and the hope is to provide a consistent experience for consumers and tourists in each location, a spokesman for New York deputy mayor for housing and economic development Alicia Glen told Bloomberg.

"Having the 20 or 30 biggest urban markets of the world all operating under entirely different rules doesn't do much good for anyone," he said.

Airbnb said in a statement that it would continue to work with officials around the world to address the "unique policy needs" of specific cities.

Uber did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Update 7:24 a.m. PT: Added Airbnb statement.

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