Feature Article

December 04, 2012

Coalition of California Politicians, Consumer Groups to Protest TracFone Owner

Carlos Slim may have some fans, he has some increasingly vocal critics, most notably some California politicians, consumer groups and Hispanic civic organizations.

Carlos Slim is the owner of prepaid mobile provider, TracFone, which has seen phenomenal growth in recent years. The company currently has a pre-paid cellular customer base that is larger than that of Verizon Wireless, AT&T, Sprint Nextel and T-Mobile. 

With Slim’s recent acquisition of Simple Mobile, TracFone now has 22 million customers in the U.S., making it the owner of more than 42 percent of the pre-paid cell phone market share and the single largest prepaid mobile provider. 

Slim’s critics aren’t sure how this state of affairs was allowed to come about, and they allege that “continues to build his telecommunications empire on the backs of Mexico's poor and crippling the nation's economic development.”

Today, Senator Kevin De León, Senator Ricardo Lara, Assembly member Das Williams and representatives from the Consumer Federation of California and TURN will join the leaders of the group Two Countries One Voice (TCOV)

TCOV says it is dedicated to exposing the predatory and monopolistic practices of Slim.

The coalition says it will call upon the California Public Utilities Commission (CPUC) for a full investigation of TracFone during the CPUC's upcoming evidentiary hearings that will take place from December 12 to 14.  Slim – the richest man in the world – and his conglomerate of telecommunications companies, recently acquired Simple Mobile without hearings or formal review by the CPUC, said the coalition in a statement.

The coalition is expected to meet and brief the press at 10:00 a.m. PST on Tuesday, 12/4 on the north steps of the California state capitol building in Sacramento. 

Edited by Braden Becker

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