Verizon is the biggest carrier in the US, and today it announced that it's acquiring another major player in the US mobile market.
Verizon is acquiring Tracfone, the largest mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) in the US. Tracfone is a prepaid operator that sells service using other carriers' networks, serving 21 million subscribers in total. More than 13 million of which use the Verizon network through an existing wholesale deal between the two companies.
Some of the brands that operate under Tracfone include Straight Talk, Simple Mobile, and Net10 Wireless.
As part of this deal, Verizon says that it plans to "further develop" Tracfone's "core brands, products, and distribution channels," including Straight Talk. Verizon also plans to continue to offer Tracfone's Lifeline service, which enables qualifying customers to get a free cellphone and free minutes every month.
This deal includes $3.125 billion in cash plus $3.125 billion in Verizon common stock, as well as up to an additional $650 million in cash tied to the achievement of certain performance metrics. Verizon says that its acquisition of Tracfone is expected to close in the second half of 2021.