Ryanair launches High Court action against Google and eDreams
Budget airline Ryanair has launched legal action against Google and an online travel agency in a bid to block allegedly deceptive adverts from appearing on online searches for the airline.
The airline says it has been “left with no alternative” other than to launch proceedings against the search engine giant and travel agency eDreams in Ireland’s High Court, the latest in a series of cases the airline has pursued across Europe against what it calls “screenscraper websites”.
Ryanair says eDreams is using Google’s services to advertise fictional low fares while running a “copycat website with identical Ryanair branding” in order to “deceive consumers”.
Kenny Jacobs, CMO at Ryanair, said the airline respected Google’s right to sell advertising but expected it to ensure that any advertising is honest and transparent.
He added: “This Google/eDreams action is a repeat of a recently successful German court ruling which has outlawed eDreams deceptive advertising in Germany.
“This deception and mis-selling has led to a surge of consumer complaints and leaves Ryanair with no choice but to take legal action against both Google and eDreams, who continue to use Google search adverts to deceive consumers into booking Ryanair flights on the eDreams website at inflated fares.”
A spokesperson for eDreams told The Guardian: “The case against Google and eDreams has only just been filed so there is little we can say beyond the fact that we disagree strongly with Ryanair’s position.
“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.”