Berman Tabacco

De Beers Antitrust

Sullivan v. DB Investments, Inc., No. 04-02819 (D.N.J.)

Berman Tabacco represented a class of diamond resellers, such as diamond jewelry stores, in this case alleging that the De Beers group of companies unlawfully monopolized the worldwide supply of diamonds in a scheme to overcharge resellers and consumers. In May 2008, a federal judge approved a settlement, which included a cash payment to class members of $295 million. The settlement was significant because it included an agreement by De Beers to submit to the jurisdiction of the U.S. court to enforce the terms of the settlement and a comprehensive injunction limiting De Beers’ ability to restrict the worldwide supply of diamonds in the future. This case also led to an important Third Circuit decision providing a roadmap for obtaining settlement class certification in complex, nationwide class actions involving laws of numerous states. Sullivan v. DB Investments, Inc., 667 F.3d 273 (3d Cir. 2011). The firm’s work in this case – believed to be the first successful prosecution of De Beers under U.S. antitrust laws – serves as a template for corralling foreign monopolists.

Case Information

  • Settlement Amount:
    $295,000,000