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Hughes Electronics Corp. said on Tuesday it agreed to pay $180 million to General Electric Co. in an effort to settle a contract dispute.

Hughes said the payment would result in a pre-tax charge of about $37 million against its second-quarter earnings, sources said. The dispute involved a failed consumer-finance program for DirecTV, the satellite TV company owned by Hughes, that was managed by GE Capital.

In July 2000, a jury ruled in favor of GE Capital, awarding the company $133 million. A judge also granted GE Capital an additional $48.5 million in interest on the award.

Hughes appealed the verdict, but announced in its first-quarter filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that it was involved in settlement negotiations with GE Capital.

From SkyReport (Used with Permission)
 
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