a negotiated agreement of the parties to a lawsuit which resolves the disputed issues and is sanctioned by the court; often, specif., such an agreement by which the defendant agrees to cease an activity or practice asserted by the government to be illegal
consent decree definition by American Heritage Dictionary
A judicial decree expressing a voluntary agreement between parties to a suit, especially an agreement by a defendant to cease activities alleged by the government to be illegal in return for an end to the charges.
A judicial announcement that a voluntary agreement has been reached by parties in a dispute. For example, a pharmaceutical company and the Food and Drug Administration might enter into a consent decree on a decision to halt the sale of a drug.
The 1956 negotiated settlement between AT&T and the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) that allowed AT&T to retain ownership of Western Electric if it manufactured only equipment of a type to be used for the provision of telephone service and only for Bell companies.The decree also prevented the Bell System from offering data processing services and other services not related to functions of a common carrier and required that Bell System patents be licensed to others on basis of reasonable fees.As a result,AT&T was forced to license its transistor technology to any company for $25,000. See also AT&T, common carrier, patent, and transistor.