Home - , , - Best Buy Acquires GreatCall MVNO for $800 Million

Best Buy Acquires GreatCall MVNO for $800 Million

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Earlier today, Best Buy announced that it purchased GreatCall, an MVNO operating under Verizon's network. The MVNO has a subscriber count of 900,000; mostly made up of the elderly and their families. According to the announcement, the acquisition cost $800 million.

If you can recall, GreatCall is most popular for its Jitterbug phones. These devices are equipped with large screens, easy-to-read buttons, and a dedicated 5Star Urgent Response system that best fit the MVNO's intended market. At a push of this button, the subscriber gets help from one of the trained agents who proceeds to confirm the location and assess the situation of subscriber; in order to provide them the assistance they require. Because of its efficiency, the 5Star Urgent Response system has been known for helping during an emergency medical issue.

Two of the most popular devices available from the MVNO include the Jitterbug Smart and the Jitterbug flip phone. In addition to these phones, GreatCall sells wearable medical alert devices.

According to Best Buy, "the acquisition is a manifestation of the Best Buy 2020 strategy to enrich lives through technology by addressing key human needs. It is specifically focused on addressing the growing needs of the aging population with the help of technology products, services and solutions." This is in reference to Best Buy's "Assured Living" program that was unveiled in 2017. By purchasing GreatCall, Best Buy is able to move forward with the program and help give adult children peace of mind in knowing their aging parents are in safe hands.

Prior to the acquisition, Best Buy was the first retail partner of the MVNO. This acquisition is remarkably recognized as the largest transaction Best Buy has ever made. Despite purchasing the MVNO, however, Best Buy assured that GreatCall will continue to operate independently with CEO David Inns staying on board.

The acquisition, however, still has to go through regulatory approval. If all goes well, the deal could close before Best Buy's fiscal 2019 third quarter.


Source: Best Buy   

9 comments:

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  1. Interesting move just after Best Buy started carrying Jitterbug's competitor in the elderly niche Consumer Cellular.

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    1. It's a trend. There are 50M people age 65 or over, and that number will grow to 75M over the next 20 years. With subscriber growth stagnant and people over 65 controlling most of the wealth in this country, this is an attractive market to target. They don't need to offer lowest price, just very good service and the right phone selection.
      T-Mobile was the first major carrier to really get aggressive, with 55+, 2 unlimited lines for $60 total (now $70), one person is 55 or over. Sprint followed at $70 plus tax, but BOTH people have to be 55. Verizon is expanding their pilot test in FL. AT&T will get around to it.

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  2. Wow 800 million! Really?! Seems like a lot.

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    1. That's $88/per subscriber -- not cheap but not out of the realm of reason either.

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    2. Best Buy wants a piece of the graying Baby Boomer home medical pie -- all those "5 Star" units that are just like LifeAlert, push for ambulance or doctor, with fall detection. The segment will only get bigger over time.

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  3. Is Best Buy trying to tell us that most of their best customers are now >70 years of age?

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    1. Consumer electronics has become an old man's game because they made their money back when an entry level McJob payed at least $20/hr (adjusted for inflation) at a time when housing costs were absurdly low.

      That allows them to buy all the best smart/safe home devices.

      Meanwhile, Junior has no pension or social security to look forward to, and can't even pay the rent because his soon to be retired manager just canned him from his sales job in favor of some illegals who live twenty to an apartment and will work for pennies on the dollar.

      God bless the boomers and their reckless abandonment of future generations.

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    2. Jr. was a slacker who skipped classes and fried his brains on video games and designer drugs. He just got a better job and raise because business is booming again. Now he can finally buy the iPhone he’s always wanted v

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  4. Wow. TF only paid about $120M for Page Plus. Best Buy got screwed!

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