US Federal Communications Commission has recently approves Verizon Wireless purchase of Tracfone in a deal worth more than $6 billion, positioning Verizon to become one of the largest prepaid service providers in the US.
Tracfone is the largest reseller of wireless devices in the US and maintains over 20 million subscribers with more than 90,000 retail locations. Verizon’s Tracfone acquisition combines the largest mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) with the largest wireless provider in the country.
In a press release FCC said: “After rigorous review, the Commission found that the transaction, as modified by Verizon’s enforceable commitments, will make Verizon and Tracfone stronger providers of prepaid and Lifeline services.”
It’s unclear which commissioners voted to approve the deal. Currently, there are only two Democrats and two Republicans serving at the agency, meaning at least one Democrat would have been required to approve the purchase.
As part of its decision to approve the deal, the FCC said that it would be requiring Verizon to make several consumer protection agreements with the agency. First, Verizon promised to continue its participation in the Lifeline subsidy program for at least seven years. The company must also provide cost-effective 5G devices and services to Lifeline customers. Verizon must also submit semi-annual reports describing how its compliance meets these restrictions.