FTC Grants Stay in Trans Union Data-Sale Order

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Trans Union LLC, a credit bureau and list marketing firm, said yesterday the Federal Trade Commission granted a stay on its order for Trans Union to stop selling certain lists of consumer data.

The Chicago-based company also said that it filed an appeal of the FTC's original order with the U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington earlier this week.

"We appreciate the opportunity to have our legal argument heard before the U.S. Court of Appeals prior to any order taking effect," said Oscar Marquis, vice president and general counsel for Trans Union, in a prepared statement.

The FTC ruled in February that Trans Union, which markets lists through its Performance Data unit, could not sell lists containing certain information from consumers' credit files for marketing purposes because such sales were a violation of the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Trans Union argued in its most recent hearing that the data provided in those lists could not be used to establish credit eligibility and therefore should be available for sale by the company for marketing purposes.

The case began in 1992 and has been appealed several times by Trans Union. The other two credit bureaus, Equifax and Experian, both stopped selling consumer information derived from the credit lists; though Experian, formerly called TRW, still markets some data under terms of a consent decree reached with the FTC in 1993.

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