September 27, 2004
Belgian Court Extends Diamond Dealer's Supply From DTC
Belgian diamantaire Diamanthandel A. Spira, bvba, a multigenerational sightholder and one of De Beers' oldest customers, was dropped following De Beers' implementation of its Supplier of Choice program. It sued. Last week, a Belgian Appeals Court ordered De Beers' Diamond Trading Co. to continue to supply A. Spira with diamonds while it reviewed the case, Johannesburg's Business Day reports.
The appeals court ordered that A. Spira is to receive diamonds from DTC for additional eighteen month period, extending an initial court order of nine months. Other reports say De Beers will be fined up to 1.5 million Euro for violating A. Spira's sightholder status. DTC officials were not available for comment.
A. Spira lawyers were quoted as saying that the latest ruling in effect reopens the European Commission's investigation of the Supplier of Choice program.
Last week sightholders and former sightholders received a questionnaire from the European Commission about the Supplier of Choice initiative. Sightholder status is arguably the most contentious aspect of Supplier of Choice.
by Robert Weldon, G.G.