Court Rejects $295M|De Beers Antitrust Deal

     (CN) – The 3rd Circuit rejected a $295 million class-action settlement between De Beers and diamond buyers who complained of decades-long antitrust violations.

     The world’s top diamond producer reached the agreement in 2005 after pleading guilty a year before to price-fixing charges. The settlement was certified by the U.S. District Court in New Jersey.
     But a handful of diamond buyers objected to the deal and sued.
     The Philadelphia-based circuit determined that their claims were too varied to be certified as a class.
     “Plaintiffs seek to minimize these legal disparities by characterizing them as little more than impediments to litigation that would make trial management difficult but that may safely be ignored for settlement purposes,” Judge Kent Jordan wrote for the three-judge panel.
     “That argument places management issues above the more basic question of substantive law. It is akin to suggesting that a really good cook, by means of superior kitchen management, can make a cake out of nothing.”

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