De Beers accused of breaking EU rules

A diamond trade group says it has made a formal complaint to the European Commission, claiming that South African company De Beers is breaking EU antitrust rules by artificially limiting the supply of the gems on the market.

    De Beers controls 70% of the world's rough diamond trade

    The Belgian Polished Diamond Dealers Association said that it had asked European Union regulators to outlaw De Beers's distribution system, known as "Supplier of Choice."

    "De Beers has misled the European Commission, has abused its dominant position and has artificially limited the availability of diamonds on the market," the group said on Friday.

    De Beers controls some 70% of the world's rough diamond supplies, which are sold to 120 manufacturers and dealers at periodic sales known as "sights".

    No availability

    The trade group claimed De Beers is using obscure criteria to select traders which, in effect, denied them access to adequate quantities of diamonds.

    "Liquidity of diamonds in the market has disappeared," the association said.

    De Beers defended its distribution system and said it helped promote competition in the market.

    EU regulators closed an investigation into the De Beers system in 2003, saying it would keep a close watch on the market to make sure traders were able to receive enough rough diamonds.

    According to the Antwerp World Diamond Centre, which represents the city's diamond industry, 80% of all rough diamonds are handled in Antwerp, Belgium.

    SOURCE: Agencies


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    'Money can't buy us': Mapping Canada's oil pipeline battle

    We travel more than 2,000km and visit communities along the route of the oil pipeline that cuts across Indigenous land.

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women under ISIL: The wives

    Women married to ISIL fighters share accounts of being made to watch executions and strap explosives to other women.

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    Diplomats for sale: How an ambassadorship was bought and lost

    The story of Ali Reza Monfared, the Iranian who tried to buy diplomatic immunity after embezzling millions of dollars.