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Online ticket company ordered to release data on ticket sellers

Trade of tickets at above face value cost breached RFU's T&Cs

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An online company must hand over personal data of its customers, according to a High Court ruling.

Viagogo Ltd has been ordered to supply the names, addresses and credit card information of people who used their website to advertise and sell England rugby match tickets.

The web-based intermediary will also have to divulge the price and stadium location of tickets touted on their site, the High Court ruled.

The High Court made the ruling after the Rugby Football Union (RFU) in England argued that Viagogo helped customers breach ticket terms and conditions.

The judge deemed that Viagogo helped to facilitate trespassing at Twickenham stadium by allowing the trade of tickets above face value cost on its website.

The terms and conditions on RFU tickets say that they must not be sold above face value. The RFU argued in court that the use of a ticket sold for more than the face value price constitutes trespass because its permission to enter the ground automatically expires when there has been a breach of the ticket terms and conditions.

Mr Justice Tugendhat granted the RFU an order for the information after ruling that the sports body had no other reasonable means of obtaining the data.

Viagogo, which charges a fee for transactions made on its site, argued that the RFU could obtain the information by contacting individuals and groups on RFU's own database, or by conducting test purchases on Viagogo's website. The cost of this was prohibitive, the judge said.

The judge said that the RFU intends to seek redress from ticket touts and that Viagogo's release of private customer information is necessary to achieve this.

The release of information does not breach Viagogo's privacy policy, the judge said.

The information available to the RFU will concern people who advertised and/or sold tickets on Viagogo for England's recent Six Nations home matches against Italy, France and Scotland or the 2010 autumn international fixtures at Twickenham.

See the ruling here.

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OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

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