Behind ‘Grassroots’ Campaigns Over Airbnb, Millions of Industry Dollars

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Airbnb Inc. and the hotel industry have waged a shadow war in cities and states across the U.S. that are grappling with how to regulate the increasingly popular short-term rental market.

The stakes are high: Closely held Airbnb has a $31 billion valuation, according to people familiar with the matter, and has more than doubled its world-wide listings over the last two years.

The hotel industry stands to lose market share as…