Ryanair wins right to block price comparison sites

Ryanair has won a ruling at the European Union’s top court allowing it to block price comparison websites from scouring its online database.

The EU Court of Justice said the airline’s price information is covered by contractual clauses on its own website that forbid others from “screenscraping” for details of the fares for Ryanair flights.

This is because the database does not have intellectual-property protection, the court said.

Ryanair sued after Dutch company PR Aviation extracted information from Ryanair’s database even after signing terms and conditions that prohibited exactly what it was doing.

The Dutch Supreme Court, which was handling the dispute, sought the EU court’s guidance on what types of databases benefit from such a protection.

“Ryanair will continue to pursue screenscraper websites such as PR Aviation to prevent Europe’s consumers from being misled over price and booking conditions,” said company spokesman Robin Kiely.

PR Aviation did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

Ryanair aims to carry 90m people in its current fiscal year ending March 31, 120m annually by 2019 and 150m within 10 years.

In a separate ruling by the EU court yesterday, low-cost rival Air Berlin was told its computerised booking system must from the start show the final price customers need to pay for each available connection.


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