FCC votes to approve Verizon’s acquisition of Tracfone
The FCC voted to approve Verizon’s acquisition of prepaid wireless reseller Tracfone with conditions. The conditions require Verizon to offer TracFone’s Lifeline-supported services for at least seven years, offer free compatible devices, offer and advertise existing Lifeline plans for at least three years, provide 5G plans, and maintain marketing and advertising expenditures for Lifeline.
The final settlement with the FCC builds on critical commitments Verizon made in August to continue offering TracFone’s current Lifeline-supported services for a minimum of 3 years following the close of the transaction, preserve quality services, maintain robust marketing, and more. These concessions, recommended by CWA and its public interest allies through multiple FCC filings, will ensure Verizon is held accountable to providing the same coverage and quality service for Lifeline customers for the same price they had as TracFone customers. Given these new commitments from Verizon, CWA, Public Knowledge, Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, Access Humboldt, and the California Center for Rural Policy withdrew their objections to the deal with the FCC.
CWA secures commitments to protect Lifeline customers in proposed Verizon-TracFone deal, withdraws objections with FCC (Speed Matters, Aug. 15, 2021)
FCC OKs Verizon acquisition of TracFone (Fierce Wireless, Nov. 22, 2021)
CWA urges the FTC and the DOJ to take into account in merger review guidelines the role of collective bargaining in counterbalancing employer market power