Outspoken Ryanair chief Michael O'Leary has claimed that Google is working on a price comparison site for flights that will outshine rivals in the content-scraping biz.
In an interview with Irish newspaper the Sunday Independent O'Leary said that Google would not ask for cash from the famously thrifty Ryanair boss.
"Because Google, being Google, want to show all of the prices from all of the airlines on display. They don't want to charge us, they make all of their money out of advertising," he said.
"They don't want to have a limited or biased search. They want to be able to say they've screened all of these airlines on all of the routes," claimed O'Leary. "They need to find who has got the lowest airfare on these routes ... and that's us."
And, in a comment that might arguably prick up the ears of the European Union's competition commissioner Joaquin Almunia, O'Leary teased that such a deal would be really bad for rivals in the price comparison market.
He told the newspaper:
There are some very exciting developments with Google, where we have been working with them on sharing the pricing.
We'll be sharing the Ryanair pricing through all of the Google outlets, so when you go in, there'll be route selections, cheapest prices and so on. Google are developing a price-comparison thing themselves.
They want to launch with us and we're working with them on that kind of product. It'll blow comparison sites like Skyscanner out of the water.
Google in fact debuted its Flight Search service in the UK in March 2013. A spokeswoman at the ad giant told The Register:
We already have relationships with a number of airlines across the world but are always looking to improve the results by signing deals with more.
We have nothing new to announce at this stage.
We understand that Google is in talks with Ryanair, which might just explain O'Leary's sudden enthusiasm for the Chocolate Factory.
The company has been slowly moving into the price comparison game. In 2012, for example, it began offering to compare car insurance prices for Brits following its acquisition of BeatThatQuote. ®