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Comments on Alrosa & De Beers competition sought by EU

03
Jun '05
The European Commission is asking interested parties for comments by 3rd July 2005 on commitments offered by ALROSA and De Beers in a case under EC Treaty rules outlawing cartels and abuse of monopoly power (Articles 81 and 82) involving the market for rough diamonds. The Commission had preliminary concerns that the volume of ALROSA rough diamonds purchased by De Beers might both enhance De Beers market power and eliminate ALROSA as an alternative source of supply. The commitments proposed by the parties purport to address these concerns by reducing the amount of diamonds purchased by De Beers from ALROSA.

ALROSA's and De Beers' commitments foresee that quantities of rough diamonds to be purchased by De Beers, the largest supplier of rough diamonds in the world, from the Russian state-owned company ALROSA, the second largest diamond producer, would be phased down over a 6 year period and would remain at a maximum equivalent of $275 million/year after that period (see IP/04/1513) The full text of the commitments is also available on the Commission's competition website:

http://europa.eu.int/comm/competition/antitrust/cases/index/by_nr_76.html#i38_381

The notice formally inviting interested parties' comments on the commitments has been published in the EU Official Journal (C 136 dated 03.06.2005) which requests that comments are submitted within one month from the notice's publication.

Subject to comments received, the Commission may adopt the commitments, which would become legally binding as a so-called 'Commitments Decision' under Article 9 of Regulation 1/2003. If companies subsequently breach a 'Commitments Decision', a fine may be imposed.


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