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Pistons Owner Tom Gores Seeking OK On Purchase Of Prison Phone Contractor

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Pistons Owner Tom Gores Seeking OK On Purchase Of Prison Phone Contractor

Billionaire Detroit Pistons owner and private equity investor Tom Gores is reportedly attempting to enter the world of private prison contractors, asking the FCC for approval on the purchase of Securus Technologies, Inc., a prison telephone service.

It’s a company that’s been criticized for the rates it charges: as high as $14 a minute, according to Bloomberg, which reported on Gores’ FCC application Monday.

Securus provides phone service to 1.2 million inmates in the U.S. and Canada. The purchase price of the company, which is presently owned by another private equity firm, Abry Partners, is $1.6 billion, according to Bloomberg. There is no timeline for when the FCC may or may not approve the deal, the report said.

Companies such as Securus typically bid to receive prison phone service contracts and then pay a commission back to the prison from the revenue.

The group Prison Policy Initiative has objected to Gores’ purchase of Securus, calling it “a microcosm for everything that is wrong with the prison-industrial complex” in an FCC filing, according to Bloomberg.

While federal regulators had pushed to limit the rates inmates could be charged for phone calls, the Washington Post reported in February that the effort was dropped after President Donald Trump took office.

Gores is on final approach in moving the Pistons downtown from the suburban Palace of Auburn Hills, with the NBA set to vote on the deal within weeks, according to the Detroit News.

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