Competition officials carry out unannounced inspection at Ryanair HQ in Dublin

Move forms part of probe by Italian competition authority into allegations of anti-competitive practices

Officials from competition authorities from Ireland and Italy, accompanied by gardaí, have carried out an unannounced inspection at Ryanair headquarters in Dublin as part of an ongoing investigation.

The airline said that at 12.30am on Friday it had received a visit from officers of the Italian competition authority AGCM and its Irish counterpart the Competition and Consumer Protection Commission. (CCPC).

The airline said the move was “part of an investigation into claims made by Italian online travel agencies (OTAs) about Ryanair’s long-running campaign to protect consumers from digital piracy and online travel agency overcharging”.

Ryanair said it and its team were happy to fully co-operate with this investigation “into its long-running and increasingly successful campaign” on these issues.


The airline said in a statement: “In recent weeks a number of these OTAs have signed ‘approved’ OTA distribution agreements with Ryanair under which they agreed to stop screen scraping the website and to stop overcharging consumers with inflated airfares, inflated ancillary fees and invented fees for non-existent services.”

“The Milan Court of Appeal in February 2024 dismissed false claims by Italian OTAs that Ryanair was in breach of Italian competition law,” Ryanair said in a statement on Friday.

In September 2023 the Italian competition authority said it had opened an investigation into Ryanair “for possible abuse of a dominant (market) position”.

The CCP said it had carried out an unannounced inspection at the premises of a business active in the passenger aviation sector on behalf of the Italian competition authority, AGCM.

“This unannounced inspection forms part of an ongoing investigation by the AGCM into potential breaches of EU competition law. Authorised officers from the CCPC were supported by colleagues from the AGCM and from An Garda Síochána,” the commission said.

“The CCPC is the statutory body responsible for the enforcement of competition law in Ireland. EU competition law allows a competition authority of one member state to request the competition authority of another member state to carry out an inspection or other fact-finding measure in the state on its behalf to establish whether there has been an infringement of EU competition law.

“In Ireland the CCPC has the power, under legislation, to carry out unannounced inspections on foot of a warrant issued by the District Court for this purpose. No further comment can be made at this time.”

Martin Wall

Martin Wall

Martin Wall is the former Washington Correspondent of The Irish Times. He was previously industry correspondent