Verizon and Public Interest Groups Agree on TracFone Deal Conditions

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Public-interest groups have agreed to drop their challenge to Verizon's proposed $6.9 billion purchase of TracFone Wireless after the company agreed with their conditions. Public Knowledge, Access Humboldt, the Benton Institute for Broadband & Society, the California Center for Rural Policy, and Communications Workers of America submitted a letter to the Federal Communications Commission August 11 withdrawing their objections to the deal, contingent on the Federal Communications Commission making Verizon's agreed-upon conditions “enforceable and mandatory.” Those conditions are as follows:

  1. Lifeline Service: Verizon commits to continuing to offer TracFone’s current Lifeline-supported services for a minimum of 3 years following the close of the transaction.

  2. Lifeline Plans: Verizon will not add new co-pays to TracFone’s existing Lifeline plans offered at no cost to prepaid customers for at least 3 years after the transaction closes.

  3. Marketing: Verizon commits to maintaining at least the same budget as TracFone did in 2020 for Lifeline Marketing throughout TracFone’s entire service area for at least 3 years following the close of the transaction.

  4. No Customer Left Behind: Verizon commits to honor the rates, terms and conditions of the MVNO agreements that Verizon is assuming from TracFone, and to provide resold voice and data services consistent with the terms of those agreements for at least years after the transaction closes.

  5. 5G: Within 6 months after the Transaction closes, Verizon will make available a TracFone service plan to Lifeline prepaid customers that includes 5G service.

  6. Enforcement: For a period of 3 years after the close of the transaction, Verizon commits to submitting a quarterly report to the Commission that includes the current number of Lifeline subscribers within the service area Verizon will acquire from TracFone, data regarding its migration of customers from TracFone’s other underlying networks to Verizon’s including the number of devices that have successfully transferred, and the availability of 5G for Lifeline customers, including which geographic service areas have access to Verizon’s 5G network and how many Lifeline customers are receiving 5G service.

Verizon, Groups Strike Deal on TracFone Deal Conditions Public Knowledge Secures Consumer Victory in Verizon/TracFone Merger (PK) Verizon vows to protect Tracfone’s low-income users in new merger promise (The Verge)