Five Democratic US senators on Wednesday urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to ensure Verizon’s proposed $6.9 billion acquisition of pre-paid mobile phones provider TracFone does not raise prices or impact government programs to provide access to mobile phones for low-income Americans.
TracFone is one of the largest providers of telecommunications services under the government subsidy program known as Lifeline with 1.7 million low-income subscribers in 43 states and the District of Columbia.
Senators Richard Blumenthal, Sheldon Whitehouse, Dianne Feinstein, Ron Wyden and Ed Markey said in a letter “Verizon would have significant incentives and opportunities to push subscribers from Lifeline and inexpensive prepaid services to higher revenue plans.”
Verizon said in September it would buy TracFone, a unit of Mexican telecom company America Movil, in a cash and stock deal.
The company said the proposed deal “will bring value and benefits to value-conscious consumers in a myriad of ways.”
In February, the attorneys general of 16 US states and the District of Columbia urged the FCC to thoroughly investigate the deal.
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