Viagogo’s Face-Saving Appeal

UK-based secondary ticket seller Viagogo appears intent on pursuing an expensive legal battle in a bid to avoid revealing who has been offering rugby football tickets on its website.

So far it’s failed to comply with High Court and Appeal Court rulings ordering it to make the names known to the Rugby Football Union, which prohibits the resale of match tickets for more than face value.

The RFU sought the names of resellers in order to level disciplinary action against them.

“We are committed to vigorously defending our customers’ rights and private information, therefore we will appeal the court’s decision,” said Viagogo UK director Edward Parkinson.

At press time, Freud Communications, which handles Viagogo’s PR, couldn’t say when the new appeal will be lodged.

A spokesman said its client’s lawyers will first need time to study the wording of the Appeal Court ruling.

On Dec. 9 the Appeal Court backed the decision reached last March by High Court judge Mr. Justice Tugendhat, who ruled that Viagogo must reveal the names and addresses of those who placed tickets for sale on its website for the 2010 Investec internationals and the 2011 Six Nations Championship.

Viagogo has so far refused to provide the names, in part because doing so would breach the company’s policy of keeping sellers’ identities private, and seems intent on appealing the matter to the very pinnacle of the UK’s legal pyramid.

“Placing tickets for sale on secondary ticketing sites is in direct contravention of the RFU’s ticketing terms and conditions, and if the seller can be identified, they face tough sanctions including possible court action,” RFU representative Sophie Goldschmidt said following the organisation’s latest court victory.

“Individuals who believe they have anonymity by trading their tickets through such secondary sales sites are no longer invisible, and we will do our utmost to ensure that tickets go to genuine fans.”

Graham Burns, chairman of the UK’s Association of Secondary Ticket Agents reportedly said that Viagogo’s credibility with resellers could be on the line if it doesn’t prevail with its appeal.