Booking.com seeks damages from Ryanair in US over screen scraping lawsuit

Online travel giant Booking.com is seeking damages from Ryanair for alleged “tortious” lawsuits against Ryanair.

ooking.com has counterclaimed a case brought by the airline against the travel company and its affiliates for allegedly screen-scraping Ryanair fares.

The travel group has also asked a US court to bar Ryanair from contacting Booking.com’s customers in a way that “interferes” with its customer relationships and “defames” Booking.com.

Ryanair initiated legal action in Delaware against Booking.com and its subsidiaries – Kayak.com, Priceline.com and Agoda.com – in 2020.

It has claimed that the defendants are depriving Ryanair of “an opportunity to maximize its revenue” from its own website.

The airline claimed that Booking.com bypassed the airline’s website security and engaged in so-called screen-scraping of their fares.

In screen scraping, a third party accesses an airline’s website and often offers fares to its own customers through its own website. Screenscraped fares can be more expensive for customers than if they bought tickets directly from the airline’s website. Ryanair says the third-party websites are not authorized to sell their tickets.

Booking.com has denied Ryanair’s allegations in the case filed in Delaware.

In response to an amended complaint by the airline in this case, Booking.com asked the court this week to award it damages over Ryanair’s conduct.

“Ryanair’s wrongful conduct – including its defamatory allegations and misrepresentations towards Booking.com’s customers – harms what Booking.com has built,” the online travel giant claims in its counterclaim against the airline.

Booking.com alleges that Ryanair “publicly disparaged” Booking.com and other online travel agencies and sent “accusatory and derogatory emails” to Booking.com customers who booked Ryanair flights through the online travel group’s website.

It is alleged that Ryanair – led by Michael O’Leary – made “false and misleading” statements to Booking.com customers.

Booking.com alleges that in its communications with the online travel group’s customers, Ryanair indicated that Booking.com may have applied “massive markups” to the fares, provided the airline with “false customer details” and used “screening” – scraper” software to “mis-sell” Ryanair flights.

Booking.com has insisted it does neither of those things.

“Booking.com has suffered, and will continue to suffer, both reputational and financial damage from Ryanair’s defamatory statements.”

Earlier this year, Ryanair won a case against online travel company Lastminute.com. A Paris court has ordered Lastminute to stop selling the airline’s tickets through its website.

“Ryanair’s direct sales model offers our customers the best choice, care and lowest fares,” said Dara Brady, Ryanair’s director of marketing and digital, at the time.

https://www.independent.ie/business/irish/bookingcom-seeks-damages-from-ryanair-in-us-over-screen-scraping-lawsuit-42171989.html Booking.com seeks damages from Ryanair in US over screen scraping lawsuit

Fry Electronics Team

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