For over a century, the international diamond market has been dominated by one of the most successful cartels on the planet. Led by the legendary De Beers Corp., the cartel has been able to keep diamond prices rising and the waste to prevent that most of the other condemned “orderly marketing arrangements.” It has also managed to maintain one of the greatest marketing coups of the story: convincing millions of customers that diamonds are actually rare and highly sought after. There is only a problem for … Read more »

For over a century, the international diamond market has been dominated by one of the most successful cartels on the planet. Led by the legendary De Beers Corp., the cartel has been able to keep diamond prices rising and the waste to prevent that most of the other condemned “orderly marketing arrangements.” It has also managed to maintain one of the greatest marketing coups of the story: convincing millions of customers that diamonds are actually rare and highly sought after. There is only one problem for the cartel. It is illegal in the United States (the world’s largest market for Gem Diamonds) and has been under constant attack by the U.S. Department of Justice. The case describes how De Beers has this problem in the past and are treated in the late 1990s, changes in African political situation and the world diamond market can suggest a new relationship with the U.S. government.
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from
Jennifer Burns,
Debora L. Spar
Source: HBS Premier Case Collection
25 pages.
Release date: 01 February, 2000. Prod #: 700082-PDF-ENG
Forever: De Beers and U.S. Antitrust HBR case solution

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