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Ryanair is taking Google to court

The company said it started the action yesterday.

Image: Chris Radburn

IRISH AIRLINE RYANAIR says it has launched court action against Internet giant Google and online travel agent eDreams, accusing them of misleading customers and not offering the best deal.

“We’re launching legal proceedings in the Irish High Court with Google and eDreams,” Ryanair boss Michael O’Leary said at a press conference in London.

The company said it started the action yesterday.

It said Google was not providing true Ryanair prices and claimed that eDreams was creating websites including the word “Ryanair” to mislead customers.

“It’s the deception we have a problem with, not the advertising,” through which companies pay Google to have their ads high up in search results, O’Leary said.

Sites like eDreams, whose parent company is based in Spain, pay the US giant to come out higher up.

Google offers them preferential placement but with a yellow sign to indicate that the ads are sponsored.

“Ryanair has engaged in several legal cases across Europe against screen-scraper websites such as eDreams to prevent consumers from being deceived and subjected to false prices and hidden charges,” the Irish company said in a statement.

Ryanair said it had received “numerous complaints from Ryanair customers who were deceived into buying on the eDreams website when they thought they were booking on Ryanair.com”.

eDreams said it “disagreed strongly” with Ryanair’s accusations.

“This action is clearly just another attempt from Ryanair to stop online travel agencies from offering consumers the best price and choice when it comes to booking flights,” it said in a statement.

- © AFP 2015

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