CHICAGO -- The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington has granted Trans Union Corp.'s request for a stay of a Federal Trade Commission order that required the company to halt its sales of direct-marketing lists.

In October, the FTC told Trans Union, a provider of consumer credit information, to stop selling lists of consumers to companies that want to solicit new customers. The FTC maintains that the business violates the Fair Credit Reporting Act, because the names of consumers come from Trans Union data bases that should be used only for making firm offers of credit to consumers.

Trans Union contends it is not violating the act, because it is not providing confidential or protected consumer information.

The stay allows Trans Union to continue to sell the lists while the court reviews its appeal.

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