In a landmark ruling, the Court of First Instance (CFI) has annulled the European Commission’s Decision which required De Beers to end its purchases of rough diamonds from Alrosa as of 2009. These commitments were offered unilaterally by De Beers to end the Commission’s investigation into an abuse of dominance. The CFI held that the Decision went further than that which the Commission could have required had it adopted a full infringement decision against De Beers. Consequently, as there were no exceptional circumstances justifying such a position, the CFI considered that the Commission had breached the proportionality principle. There were less restrictive alternatives available to resolve the competition issues than a ban on contractual relations between the two companies. The CFI also held that Alrosa had a right to be heard on the individual commitments offered by De Beers and had not been given the opportunity to exercise that right fully. (See Brussels Brief of 24 February 2006)