Cartel Digest

Industrial Diamonds

Industrial Diamonds
  Overall Cartel Period 1991-1992
  Participants De Beers Centenary AG
  Total Fines (DOJ) $10 million
  Total Fines (EC) No fines imposed

In 2004, De Beers Centenary AG agreed to plead guilty to Department of Justice (“DOJ”) price-fixing charges.  From at least early 1991 to 1992,

De Beers had conspired with another manufacturer of industrial diamonds to fix the prices of saw diamond, compacts tooling and drilling products sold in the United States, products normally sold to diamond tool manufacturers.  The manufacturers use industrial diamond products in cutting and polishing tools for a variety of manufacturing and construction uses, including road construction, stone cutting and polishing, automobile manufacturing, mining and oil drilling.  The DOJ imposed a $10 million fine on De Beers.  

 

Enforcement Highlights:

  • De Beers’ alleged co-conspirator General Electric was tried and acquitted on the price-fixing charge.
  • Because the court could not establish jurisdiction over De Beers, the Switzerland-based company was never tried on the charge and instead consented to jurisdiction to enter the plea agreement.
Company Conspiracy Period Fine (USD) Plea Date No. of Excluded Individuals Plea Agreement
De Beers Centenary AG 1/91-1/92 $10 million 07/13/2004 N/A Plea Agreement