FIFA World Cup 2010 tickets: sales by unauthorised traders

Office of Fair Trading (OFT) closed consumer enforcement case.

Complainant

OFT own-initiative investigation.

Investigation against

Traders which were running one or more websites offering for sale tickets, and/or travel packages that included tickets, to 2010 FIFA World Cup matches, including the following:

  1. ITC Sports (www.itcsports.com)

  2. Kanoo Travel (www.kanootravel.co.uk)

  3. JD Promotions/ADE Hospitality (www.adehospitality.co.uk)

  4. Travel Portfolio (www.worldcupafrica2010.com and www.followengland.co.uk)

  5. Graeme Watson (www.worldcupticketssouthafrica.co.uk and www.footballworldcupsouthafrica.co.uk)

  6. LSR Sports (www.lsrsports.com)

  7. World Cup Tickets South Africa (www.worldcupticketssouthafrica.com)

  8. World Cup 2010 Ticketing Service (www.worldcupticketservice.com)

  9. Worldcuptickets.info (www.worldcuptickets.info)

  10. Global Ticket Shop (www.globalticketshop.com)

  11. World Cup Ticketing (www.worldcupticketing.com)

  12. Mundial2010 (www.mundial2010.ad, www.mundial.ad and www.mundial2010.com)

  13. Sporting Getaways (www.sportinggetaways.co.uk).

Issue

Websites offering tickets that the Traders did not have in their possession and had no realistic possibility of obtaining; and/or offering tickets that the Traders had purchased from FIFA but which the Traders were not authorised to transfer to their customers.

Relevant instruments:

  1. Domestic infringements (under section 211, EA and the Enterprise Act (Part 8 Domestic Infringements) Order 2003)
    • Sale of Goods Act 1979 (SGA) and Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 (SGSA)
    • Trade Marks Act 1994
  2. Community infringements (section 212, EA and the Enterprise Act 2002 (Part 8 Community Infringements Specified UK Laws) Order 2003
    • Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008
    • Package Travel, Package Holidays and Package Tours Regulations 1992

Investigation summary

The OFT opened an investigation on its own initiative, in anticipation of ticketing-related issues leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Following the investigation, the OFT was concerned that the Traders were offering tickets and/or travel packages that included tickets to FIFA World Cup matches either without having a realistic prospect of being able to obtain the tickets, or without FIFA's authorisation, and therefore were not in a position to deliver the tickets to consumers.

The OFT consulted the following Traders and asked them to enter into undertakings to cease the infringing conduct. In accordance with the OFT's requests, these Traders entered into undertakings and either modified or took down their websites:

  1. ITC Sports (www.itcsports.com)

  2. Kanoo Travel (www.kanootravel.co.uk)

  3. JD Promotions/ADE Hospitality (www.adehospitality.co.uk)

  4. Travel Portfolio (www.worldcupafrica2010.com and www.followengland.co.uk)

  5. Graeme Watson (www.worldcupticketssouthafrica.co.uk and www.footballworldcupsouthafrica.co.uk)

  6. LSR Sports (www.lsrsports.com)

The following Traders either could not be contacted or refused to cooperate with the OFT's attempts to consult with them and requests to enter into undertakings. The OFT therefore took action to remove these Traders' websites from the internet:

  1. World Cup Tickets South Africa (www.worldcupticketssouthafrica.com)

  2. World Cup 2010 Ticketing Service (www.worldcupticketservice.com)

  3. Worldcuptickets.info (www.worldcuptickets.info)

  4. Global Ticket Shop (www.globalticketshop.com) 

In relation to the following three Traders, the OFT took the action described below and, following the end of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the OFT concluded that: further enforcement activity was not a priority and would not be an effective use of resources:

  1. World Cup Ticketing (www.worldcupticketing.com) - the OFT communicated with the internet service provider for this website, and with the Finnish authorities (as the website suggested the Trader was located in Finland), following which the Finnish authorities confirmed that they had been unable to contact the Trader and suspected the Trader was using false details (trading name, company name etc). However, the website subsequently became inactive.

  2. Mundial2010 (www.mundial2010.ad, www.mundial.ad and www.mundial2010.com) - the OFT attempted to contact the Trader by email (as it could not obtain any other contact details for the Trader). The OFT did not receive a response and therefore endeavoured to have the websites removed from the internet by the internet service provider, but without success.  However, the websites subsequently became inactive.

  3. Sporting Getaways (www.sportinggetaways.co.uk) the OFT attempted to contact the Trader at its registered and trading addresses (to request undertakings). The OFT did not receive a response and therefore endeavoured to have the website removed from the internet by the internet service provider, but without success.

Having successfully secured the undertakings and the alteration/removal of the websites described above, and following the end of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, the OFT has now closed its investigation.

Case reference: CRE-E-24580

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