Drew FitzGerald

Verizon to Buy TracFone in Deal Valued at Up to $7 Billion

Verizon agreed to buy TracFone, a provider of wireless prepaid services, in a deal worth up to $7 billion in cash and stock, further consolidating the US cellular market. TracFone, a unit of Mexico’s América Móvil SAB, has about 21 million prepaid customers in the US under its namesake brand as well as StraightTalk and Net10. The company doesn’t run its own physical network in the US and instead rides on other cellphone carriers’ systems for a fee and then resells service under its own brands.

AT&T Chief Says Hiring Michael Cohen as Consultant a ‘Big Mistake’

Randall L. Stephenson, AT&T’s chief executive, said in a staffwide memo  that the company had made a “big mistake” by hiring President Trump’s personal lawyer, Michael Cohen.

40 Million Customer Records Affected in T-Mobile Data Breach

T-Mobile said the attack that breached its computer network pulled Social Security numbers and other personal information of more than 40 million current and prospective customers. The cellphone carrier said the stolen data included first and last names, birth dates, Social Security numbers and driver’s license information from a subset of current and potential customers.

A Surge in Wireless Subscribers Makes Analysts Wonder

Cellphone carriers have reported adding millions of new US wireless plans over the past year, making for the industry’s biggest gains in nearly a decade.

Lumen Technologies to Sell US Telecom Assets to Apollo for $7.5 Billion

Lumen Technologies plans to sell a swath of its US telecommunications network to Apollo Global Management for $7.5 billion, including $1.4 billion of assumed debt. The investment giant will carve out some of Lumen’s so-called incumbent local exchange carrier assets, a collection of telephone and broadband infrastructure that covers 6 million residential and business customers across 20 states, mostly in the Midwest and Southeast. Lumen’s remaining operations will focus on large business clients, who generate most of its revenue, as well as home-broadband subscribers in 16 states including C

Cable, Internet Companies Stand to Gain From Broadband Funding in Infrastructure Bill

The $1 trillion infrastructure bill moving through the Senate this week stands to be a windfall for cable and fiber-optic internet companies, with $65 billion allocated to improve internet access for poor and isolated communities. The plan would help home internet providers by providing $40 billion in grants that states can dole out to operators that expand their networks to households that lack high-speed service. AT&T plans to self-fund its fiber-optic network expansion to cover millions of new locations in the coming years.

AT&T, Dish Strike $5 Billion Deal to Support Boost Mobile

AT&T struck a deal to carry Dish Network’s existing cellphone customers over its wireless network, bringing two erstwhile rivals closer as they each pursue more advanced 5G technology. The nonexclusive deal would pay AT&T at least $5 billion over 10 years to support Dish’s consumer cellphone brands, which include Boost Mobile, Ting, and Republic Wireless. The agreement also provides an avenue for AT&T to use some Dish wireless spectrum licenses to support both companies’ customers.

Cuban Protests Were Powered by the Internet. The State Then Pulled the Plug

The wave of spontaneous protests that rocked Cuba on July 11 was propelled by social media and the proliferation of mobile internet, which Cubans have only had for the past three years. The government responded by leaving the island virtually incommunicado for two days. To contain the spread of mass demonstrations, authorities cut internet service, along with the fixed phone lines of some activists in the island.

AT&T Gets a Do-Over. But It Doesn’t Have Much Time.

Once it sheds its media business, AT&T will be a smaller, less-indebted company devoted to selling cellphone plans and broadband internet access. In other words, customers and investors will see an AT&T much like the one that existed before its foray into streaming video and satellite TV. But its rivals haven’t been sitting still. “AT&T has a lot of catching up to do,” said Craig Moffett, a longtime telecom analyst at industry research firm MoffettNathanson LLC. “They’re almost certain to be a third player in a three-horse race.” AT&T is still the country’s No.

Verizon to Sell Yahoo, AOL for $5 Billion to Apollo

Apollo Global Management agreed to pay about $5 billion to acquire Yahoo and AOL from Verizon as the wireless company exits its ill-fated foray into the media business. The private-equity firm is paying $4.25 billion in cash for a 90% share of the media assets. Verizon will keep a 10% stake and $750 million of additional preferred stock in the new company, called Yahoo, that will be formed to operate the business. Verizon Media, which mostly struggled to grow against Alphabet's Google and Facebook, generated $7 billion in revenue in 2020.