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Defendant adequately answered queries raised in previous judgment

By: James Cross BL

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High Court, in competition proceedings, refuses application by Ryanair seeking to compel the defendant to provide adequate responses to the queries raised by the Court in its previous judgment, on the grounds that the queries had been answered adequately so that Ryanair cannot be in any doubt as to what the defendant alleges, and the responses are sufficiently clear to allow Ryanair to plan its defence of the counterclaim.

Practice and procedure – application seeking to strike out the First Defendant’s Counterclaim, for failure to deliver substantial and/or meaningful replies to the queries raised by the Court – in the alternative application seeking to strike out the First Defendant’s Counterclaim as being an abuse of process and/or bound to fail, failing to disclose a cause of action – in the alternative staying the counterclaim pending the determination of the plaintiff’s proceedings – two previous judgments in the proceedings – argued that the defendants engaged in a process of “screen scraping”, whereby data the property of Ryanair is taken or extracted from the Ryanair website without Ryanair’s authority, and used for the defendants’ purposes – defendant counter claims that Ryanair has abused its “dominant position” – Ryanair requested particulars - dissatisfaction with the responses – applications to strike out the counter claim – Court refused the application – Court directed the defendant to reply to queries – replies a condition of being allowed to proceed with the counterclaim – correspondence - present application – at the hearing Ryanair sought that the defendant be given a period within which to remedy what Ryanair considers to be the deficiencies in its responses to date, with the proceedings being struck out if the defendant failed to respond – responses provided by defendant - jurisdiction to strike out the counterclaim – adequacy of the responses - queries 1 to 4 have been answered adequately - Ryanair can be in any serious doubt as to what the defendant alleges is the downstream market – response to query 5 is sufficiently clear to allow Ryanair to plan its defence of the counterclaim – refuses applications sought –

Note: This is intended to be a fair and accurate report of a decision made public by a court of law. Any errors should be notified to the editor and will be dealt with accordingly.

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