The Assurance of Discontinuance ended an antitrust investigation into alleged price-fixing by Golden Sky, Inc., a company which marketed and sold satellite receiver equipment and the direct broadcast satellite service known as Direct TV.
The State alleged that Golden Sky put terms in its dealer contracts that required dealers to resell satellite receiver equipment purchased from Golden Sky at prices set by the company. The State alleged that the purpose of these price-fixing terms was to prevent price competition between the dealers and Golden Sky sales staff and independent dealers. The State further alleged that Golden Sky actively policed these agreements, and when some dealers sold equipment for less than the Golden Sky price, those dealers were punished until they gave in to Golden Sky?s pricing policy. The State alleged that as a result of these price-fixing terms, prices for satellite receiver equipment sold by Golden Sky were higher than they otherwise would have been.
In the Assurance of Discontinuance, Golden Sky agreed not to enter into any price-fixing agreements with dealers. The Assurance also requires certain disclosure statements in Golden Sky?s contracts and dealer policy manuals, and that Golden Sky send information about the Assurance to its current dealers, as well as any new dealers. Finally, Golden Sky agreed to pay $95,000 to the State of Minnesota.