Ryanair wins Spanish screenscraper court case

Ryanair has claimed victory in the Commercial Court of Barcelona in a case brought by screenscraper website Atrapalo, with a decision which the airline says “confirms that Ryanair is entitled under the Spanish Constitution to exclusively distribute its low fares on www.ryanair.com”.

The Spanish Court also ruled that Ryanair’s comparative advertisements complied with Spanish law. These same adverts were previously censored by another Spanish court, a decision which Ryanair appealed to the Constitutional Court of Spain.

Ryanair says the Court upheld its right to defend its exclusive distribution policy by publicly addressing screenscrapers in terms such as: “illegal sellers”, “parasites of the sector” and “dead wood”. The Court ruled that Ryanair is not allowed to describe screenscrapers as “bastards”.

This Spanish court victory is follows similar court wins against other screenscrapers in Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the UK.

“This Spanish court victory is another milestone in Ryanair’s fight against internet screenscrapers and resellers,” declared Ryanair’s Stephen McNamara. “Websites such as Atrapalo have for too long been getting away with unauthorised reselling of Ryanair’s flights, with the addition of charges which consumers don’t pay when they book directly with Ryanair.

“Ryanair is pleased that the Spanish Court has recognised Ryanair’s constitutional right to exclusively sell its low fares on www.ryanair.com. This policy is at the core of Ryanair’s low-cost/low-fare business model and at the heart of our ongoing pro-consumer fight against the unauthorised use of Ryanair’s website.

“Genuine price comparison-only websites, who wish to present Ryanair’s low fares information to consumers, as opposed to reselling Ryanair flights with additional fees and charges, can enter into a licence agreement with Ryanair to provide price comparison only information. If Atrapalo is genuinely interested in providing an honest price comparison service, it is welcome to sign up to this licence which is subject to a charitable donation of €100.”

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