De Beers to plead guilty to price fixing
Date: 10 Jul 2004
De Beers, the global diamond producer, has agreed to plead guilty to criminal price fixing, according to a report in the New York Times. The move will bring to an end a case that has spanned over a decade.
The case focused on the fixing of prices for industrial diamonds, and was brought after a three-year investigation that concluded in 1994. General Electric was accused of conspiring with a subsidiary of De Beers to fix the prices for the diamonds in the early 1990s.
The case against GE was eventually dismissed through lack of evidence, and De Beers was not able to be prosecuted at the start because it is a foreign company and refused to recognise the jurisdiction of an American court. Now, however, the company is keen to re-enter the US market, and clearing the case out of the way is seen as providing a route in.
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