A U.S. appeals court has rejected a $272.5 million class-action settlement between De Beers and purchasers of the company’s diamonds who said they were harmed by the company’s antitrust behaviour. The appeals court sent the settlement back to a lower court for further consideration and to clarify which claims are subject to the treatment as a class, or group of plaintiffs who are allowed to sue the company collectively.
De Beers, the world’s top diamond producer, which is 45 percent owned by Anglo American, reached an agreement in 2005 to establish a $272.5 million fund for indirect purchasers of its diamonds. The settlement came after the company pleaded guilty in 2004 to a decade-old price-fixing charge, allowing it to compete directly in the United States. The class-action settlement was certified by a U.S. District Court in New Jersey but 34 of the indirect purchasers objected to the deal. The indirect purchasers include retailers, consumers and some middlemen.
See http://www.mineweb.com/mineweb/view/mineweb/en/page504?oid=107929&sn=Detail&pid=92730.