The Desk appreciates the support of readers who purchase products or services through links on our website. Learn more...

Verizon buying Tracfone Wireless for $6 billion

The logo of Verizon Wireless. (Graphic: The Desk)

Wireless phone company Verizon is buying prepaid mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) Tracfone Wireless for more than $6 billion, the companies announced in a press release on Monday.

The move marries Tracfone’s 21 million wireless subscribers with the biggest provider of wireless phone and data services in the country.

The merger affects Tracfone’s subsidiary brands, including Net 10, Walmart FamilyMobile, SafeLink, Simple Mobile, Straight Talk Wireless and Clearway, all of which are being acquired by Verizon as part of the deal.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming all of Tracfone’s customers and each of Tracfone’s nearly 850 valuable employees,” Ronan Dunne, an executive with Verizon Consumer Group, said in a statement. “We are excited to expand our relationship with Tracfone’s distribution partners, and when Tracfone’s customers become part of our family, they will get the best of both worlds – more choices, better services, and new features thanks to Verizon’s investment–but with the flexibility and control that they have come to value with its prepaid plans.”

Verizon says their acquisition of Tracfone is contingent upon clearing regulatory hurdles and is expected to formally close in the second half of 2021. The company is paying $3.1 billion in cash and another $3.1 billion in common stock for Tracfone.

Once the deal closes, Verizon says it will offer Tracfone customers access to its 4G LTE and 5G mobile data networks.

Photo of author

About the Author:

Matthew Keys

Matthew Keys is an award-winning journalist with more than 10 years of experience covering the business of television and radio broadcasting, streaming services and the overall media industry. In addition to his work as publisher of The Desk, Matthew contributes regularly to StreamTV Insider and KnowTechie, and has worked for several well-known news organizations, including Thomson Reuters, McNaughton Newspapers, Grasswire, Comstock's magazine, KTXL-TV and KGO-TV. Matthew is a member of IRE, a trade organization for investigative reporters and editors, and is based in Northern California.

Email: [email protected] | Signal: 530-507-8380