De Beers

New York, NY: (Aug-02-07) A class action lawsuit was brought against diamond giant De Beers. The action stemmed from five separate lawsuits that were filed against the company. The suit alleged the company was in violation of the Sherman Act by controlling and monitoring who its sightholders sold to and discouraged sales to non-sightholders, which kept the price of polished diamonds artificially high and at non-competitive levels; it also restrained competition from those outside its network.

In a proposed settlement reached, sources claim that a fund of approximately $290 million has been established for payments of claims made by members of the classes who are entitled to receive a portion of the fund. The classes covered under the settlement include direct and indirect purchasers of diamonds and resellers of diamonds, including retailers. Public notice regarding claims for the five separate lawsuits recently settled by De Beers is expected to be published in October 2007 according to the Jewelers Vigilance Committee. [DIAMONDS: DIAMOND ANTITRUST]

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