Ryanair, Google and eDreams reach resolution in legal row

The airline claimed Google and eDreams misled consumers

Ryanair, Google and eDreams reach resolution in legal row

The new Boeing 737 MAX 200 | Image: Ryanair

Irish carrier Ryanair has reached a settlement with Google and another website it accused of misleading its passengers.

The airline claimed when people searched for it online, they were shown an ad for travel company eDreams which wrongly implied they were booking flights with the carrier directly.

The terms of the settlement have not been made public.

In its 2015 claim, Ryanair alleged eDreams "has been allowed by Google to use the misleading subdomains 'Ryanair Cheap Flights' and 'www.Ryanair.eDreams.com', and a copycat website with identical Ryanair branding, in order to deceive consumers into visiting the eDreams website, and booking with eDreams at inflated fares".

Ryanair previously said it had engaged in several legal cases across Europe against screenscraper websites - such as eDreams - to prevent consumers "from being deceived and subjected to false prices and hidden charges".

Ryanair added that while it had no issue with Google selling advertising space, it repeatedly called on Google to enforce transparency on its online advertising following numerous complaints from Ryanair customers. 

Ryanair CEO Michael O'Leary in 2013 | Image: Sam Boal/RollingNews.ie

In a statement on the settlement, Ryanair says: "Ryanair, Google and eDreams have now reached a resolution, which will benefit consumers across Europe.

"The conditions of this settlement remain confidential between the parties."

Ryanair's Kenny Jacobs says: "We will continue to offer our customers the lowest fares in Europe and we welcome these measures, which will ensure transparency in relation to the online advertising of air fares, to the benefit of our customers.

" We are pleased to have resolved this issue and we welcome these commitments to consumer-friendly advertising on Google's AdWords platform."

File photo

A Google spokesperson said: "We are pleased to have reached an agreement with Ryanair and eDreams.

"We have clear policies on the type of ads we allow on our platforms and we remain committed to enforcing them to best serve consumers."

And eDreams' Robert McNamara added" "We are satisfied with this resolution and committed to helping travelers across Europe get the best priced and most convenient travel options.

"Our service is for the benefit of our customers and we hope this agreement will allow all those involved to focus on providing even better value and service to European travelers".