The prison pay phone industry is gradually com- ing under the control of two companies as Securus Technologies recently announced the purchase of one of its smaller competitors, ICSolutions (ICS).
A story published in Prison Legal News, using data from Prison Policy Initiative (PPI), said Securus and Global Tel*Link (GTL) pro- vide inmate calling service to 70 percent of the prison and jail market in the United States.
The purchase will give Securus all of ICS’s issued and outstanding membership interests of the company, it was reported. “As a result, ICS will become a wholly owned, direct subsidiary of Securus,” regulatory filings state.
In 2017, GTL purchased Telmate, another competitor in the prison pay phone industry.
“Securus was acquiring ICSolutions by taking on the company’s $350 million in debt,” Prison Legal News reported in an investor note written by Moody’s, an analyst and credit rating firm. The buying will clear the way for Securus from one of its rival.
“Now that there are just two major national companies left to compete for con- tracts, it will be harder for facilities that want to lower prices to do so,” PPI said. “Because the primary differentiation between vendors is cost, having fewer companies compete for contracts will mean less choice for the facility that awards the con- tracts and less of an incentive for the companies to offer good deals.”
In 2015, Securus purchased JPay, “a company that provides fee-based email services, video calling, money transfers and tablets for inmates,” Prison Legal News reported.
Securus is owned by Platinum Equity, a private equity firm. It is managed by the owner of the Detroit Pistons, Tom Gores.