Tracfone acquisition by Verizon: US justice requires a thorough investigation


Verizon acquisition of Tracfone: US justice requires a thorough investigation

Many local judicial agencies have asked the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to thoroughly investigate the deal of Verizon Telecom Group acquiring Tracfone for a proposed $ 6.25 billion.

Verizon is currently the largest wireless carrier in the United States, in terms of user base. Photo: AFP

In September 2020, Verizon announced that it would buy prepaid mobile phone service provider Tracfone, a member of America Movil (Mexico), under a cash and share payment agreement.

Regarding the deal, the heads of the judiciary of 16 states and the District of Columbia recently petitioned the US Federal Communications Commission “to consider whether Verizon’s acquisition of TracFone could significantly reduce the access of the millions of Americans for low-cost communication services.

In a letter to the US Federal Communications Commission, the judiciary also emphasized: “The FCC is required to carefully review the acquisition agreement between the two telecom enterprises and set out specific conditions. to protect and ensure community interests before considering and approving the agreement “.

The group of judicial agencies sent letters to the FCC led by the head of the Virginia state judiciary, Mark Herring, joined by representatives from the District of Columbia and the states: Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Iowa, Massachusetts , Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Tracfone is one of the largest telecommunications service providers to benefit from a US government subsidy program called Lifeline with 1.7 million low-income subscribers in 43 states and the District of Columbia, while Verizon offers Lifeline service in select areas of 4 states.

A Verizon spokesperson said the group “will continue to provide Lifeline service through TracFone and further develop its core brands, products and distribution channels. TracFone will bring benefits to users who are aware of the value “.

Tracfone currently has 21 million subscribers through more than 90,000 retail locations across the US. Last year, the telecom company said more than 13 million of its subscribers benefited from Verizon’s network under a signed agreement between the two telecom companies. Verizon is currently the largest wireless carrier in the United States, in terms of user base.

“We urge the FCC to put the interests of the American consumer ahead of the interests of the deal and to require additional information before allowing the acquisition,” said the head of the justice department of Michigan. , Ms. Dana Nessel said.

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