De Beers Welcomes Approval of Anti-Trust Action

De Beers said it “welcomes” recent comments by the judge handling its class action case that the anti-trust settlement will be approved.

While the judge has not issued a final ruling, comments by the presiding judge indicated approval of the settlement, said spokeswoman Lynette Gould.

Industry commentator Martin Rapaport Monday filed an objection to the settlement, arguing the anti-trust remedies stipulated as “injunctive relief” were not sufficient. Rapaport’s filing argued that De Beers should be banned from buying diamonds “from any third parties” unless it files an economic impact statement, showing its action do not hurt competitive markets.

A De Beers statement said: “We believe that settling these class actions allows us to put these matters behind us and is in the best interests of our shareholders, clients and the consumer.  Nothing is more important to De Beers than consumers’ confidence in diamonds and it is important for consumers to understand that this settlement in no way affects the value of their diamonds. The appeal and value of diamonds has never been higher.  Diamonds are worth as much today—if not more—than they ever have been.”

The $300 million settlement was in response to a spate of lawsuits which charged that De Beers’ past actions violated U.S. anti-trust laws. The money is being distributed to the trade and consumers through forms available on the Web site, diamondsclassaction.com.