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Comment Sought on Domestic 214 Transfer of Page Plus to TracFone

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Released: January 6, 2014

Federal Communications Commission

News Media Information 202 / 418-0500
445 12th Street, S.W.
Fax-On-Demand 202 / 418-2830

Washington, D.C. 20554

TTY 202 / 418-2555

DA 14-9

Released: January 6, 2014




WC Docket No. 13-138

On May 23, 2013, Start Wireless Group, Inc. d/b/a Page Plus Cellular (Page Plus) and TracFone
Wireless, Inc. (TracFone) (together, Applicants) filed an application pursuant to section 63.03 of the
Commission’s rules1 to transfer assets of Page Plus to TracFone.2 Page Plus provides interstate
telecommunications services on a nationwide basis throughout the United States. Its principal business is
the sale of prepaid cellular phones and wireless telecommunications services through the sale of prepaid
airtime cards. It holds blanket domestic section 214 authority. TracFone and its affiliates resell domestic
prepaid wireless services on a nationwide basis throughout the United States.
On May 30, 2013, the Wireline Competition Bureau (Bureau) released a Public Notice
requesting comment on this application.3 On June 13, 2013, the Department of Justice, including the
Federal Bureau of Investigation, with the concurrence of the Department of Homeland Security
(collectively, the Executive Branch Agencies), filed a letter requesting that the Commission defer action
on this application while they reviewed potential national security, law enforcement, and public safety
issues.4 We deferred action on the application in response to the Executive Branch Agencies’ request.5
On January 3, 2014, the Executive Branch Agencies submitted a Petition to Adopt Conditions to

1 47 C.F.R § 63.03; see 47 U.S.C. § 214.
2 Application of Start Wireless Group, Inc. d/b/a Page Plus Cellular and TracFone Wireless, Inc. for Consent to
Assignment of Customer Base and Related Assets of an Authorized Domestic Section 214 Carrier
, WC Docket No.
13-138 (filed May 23, 2013).
3 Domestic Section 214 Application Filed for the Acquisition of Assets of Start Wireless Group, Inc. d/b/a Page
Plus Cellular by TracFone Wireless, Inc
., WC Docket No. 13-138, Public Notice, 28 FCC Rcd 8028 (Wireline
Comp. Bur. 2013).
4 See Letter from Mark. G. McConnell, U.S. Department of Justice, to George Li, FCC, WC Docket No. 13-138
(filed June 13, 2013).
5 Notice of Removal of Domestic Section 214 Application from Streamlined Treatment, WC Docket No. 13-138,
Public Notice, 28 FCC Rcd 8933 (Wireline Comp. Bur. 2013)

Authorizations and Licenses (Petition).6 In the Petition, the Executive Branch Agencies advise the
Commission that they have no objection to the Commission granting its consent in this proceeding,
provided the Commission conditions the grant on the assurance of TracFone to abide by the
commitments and undertakings set forth in the December 2013 Agreement between TracFone and the
Department of Justice (Agreement).7 The Executive Branch Agencies filed the Agreement in WC
Docket No. 13-138 on January 3, 2014.8
The Bureau finds, upon consideration of the record, that grant of the application, subject to
compliance with the Agreement, will serve the public interest, convenience, and necessity. Upon
consummation of the transaction, the resulting entity will have a market share in the U.S. interstate
interexchange market of less than 10 percent, and will provide competitive telephone exchange services
or exchange access services exclusively in geographic areas served by a dominant local exchange carrier
in the U.S. that is not a party to the transaction. In addition, no party to the transaction is dominant with
respect to any domestic service.
Consistent with Commission precedent, the Bureau accords the appropriate level of deference to
the Executive Branch Agencies' expertise on national security and law enforcement issues. 9 Therefore,
pursuant to section 214 of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 U.S.C. § 214, and section
0.291 of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. § 0.291, the Bureau hereby grants the application discussed in
this Public Notice subject to compliance with the Agreement described above.
Pursuant to section 1.103 of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. § 1.103, the grant is effective
upon release of this Public Notice. Petitions for reconsideration under section 1.106 or applications for
review under section 1.115 of the Commission's rules, 47 C.F.R. §§ 1.106, 1.115, may be filed within 30
days of the date of this Public Notice.
For further information, please contact Jodie May, Wireline Competition Bureau, Competition
Policy Division, (202) 418-0913.

6 Petition to Adopt Conditions to Authorizations and Licenses, WC Docket No. 13-138 and File No. ITC-ASG-
20130522-00143 (filed Jan. 3, 2014).
7 Id. at 1-2.
8 Letter to John Carlin, Acting Assistant Attorney General, National Security Division, U.S. Department of Justice,
from F.J. Pollak, President and Chief Executive Officer, TracFone Wireless, Inc., WC Docket No. 13-138, File
No. ITC-ASG-20130522-00143 (filed Jan. 3, 2014).
9 The Commission considers national security, law enforcement, foreign policy, and trade policy concerns when
analyzing a transfer of control or assignment application in which foreign ownership is an issue. See Amendment
of the Commission’s Regulatory Policies to Allow Non-U.S. Licensed Satellites Providing Domestic and
International Service in the United States
, Report and Order, 12 FCC Rcd 24094, 24170-72, paras. 178-82 (1997);
Rules and Policies on Foreign Participation in the U.S. Telecommunications Market, IB Docket No. 97-142,
Market Entry and Regulation of Foreign Affiliated Entities, IB Docket No. 95-22, Report and Order and Order on
Reconsideration, 12 FCC Rcd 23891, 23919-21, paras. 61-66 (1997) (Foreign Participation Order), Order on
Reconsideration, 15 FCC Rcd 18158 (2000). In assessing the public interest, the Commission considers the record
and accords the appropriate level of deference to Executive Branch expertise on national security and law
enforcement issues. See Foreign Participation Order, 12 FCC Rcd at 23919-21, paras. 61-66.

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