De Beers in talks with feds about returning to the U.S. market

De Beers is in advanced talks to settle a price-fixing charge and return to the U.S. market, according to a Tuesday story in the Wall Street Journal.

Citing people close to the talks the story said De Beers signaled last year it might agree to plead guilty and pay a fine to settle allegations that date back to shortly after World War II when the Justice Department alleged that it fixed the price of industrial diamonds and followed with another suit in 1994.

“We have outstanding legal issues with the Department of Justice and the European Union, and we’re working to resolve them,” said Lynette Hori, the spokeswoman for De Beers’ Diamond Trading Company, according to the Journal.

“The U.S. is the biggest market for diamond jewelry—accounting for 50 percent of global retail jewelry sales—and we would really, really like to resolve these issues,” she reportedly said