Verizon appeases detractors with Tracfone promises - Mobile World Live

Verizon appeases detractors with Tracfone promises

13 AUG 2021

High-profile opponents of a $6.25 billion Verizon deal to buy MVNO Tracfone withdrew their objections after the operator pledged to continue backing low-income support scheme Lifeline and extend it to include 5G.

In a statement, trade union Communications Workers of America (CWA) explained it had scrapped its formal opposition to the deal lodged with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) following commitments from Verizon.

Fellow opponents Public Knowledge, Benton Institute for Broadband and Society, Access Humboldt, and the California Center for Rural Policy made similar moves.

The news came after Verizon submitted a number of promises to the FCC on Tracfone’s continued support for Lifeline, should it complete the agreement to take control of the MVNO from current owner America Movil.

Lifeline is a government scheme designed to help low-income Americans afford mobile phone services.

Alongside the opposition groups, 17 attorney generals urged the FCC to impose conditions on the deal to protect Lifeline users.

Among its pledges, Verizon committed to support Lifeline for at least three years, offer it at no charge to consumers, actively market its availability, honour existing reseller relationships and provide 5G services on the plan.

Earlier this week, Verizon EVP and CEO of its consumer group Ronan Dunne highlighted aims for its prepaid business and noted the company was pressing the FCC to approve the Tracfone deal.

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Chris Donkin

Chris joined the Mobile World Live team in November 2016 having previously worked at a number of UK media outlets including Trinity Mirror, The Press Association and UK telecoms publication Mobile News. After spending 10 years in journalism, he moved...

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