The US wireless market continues to consolidate. The most recent acquisition comes when Verizon begins buying Tracfone, a popular prepaid provider. Phones and prepaid service cards are commonplace on Walmart electronics shelves. The deal includes $ 3.125 billion in cash and an equal amount in stock, and $ 650 in cash towards achievement of performance targets.
According to the press release, Tracfone currently has 21
Verizon already offers prepaid service, but nothing beats the lowest tier of Tracfone, which offers 500 minutes, 500 text messages, and just 500 megabytes of data for $ 15 a month. Verizon’s cheapest plan is $ 40 per month for 5GB (although discounts are available). With Tracfone’s carrier-independent MVNO options, customers can use different networks with different SIM cards.
Verizon expects the acquisition to receive US approval within a year, which seems feasible. If you’re a current Tracfone customer, don’t expect much to change quickly, or even when the deal is closed – Verizon has no reason to struggle with a formula for success.