In May 2018, Securus Technologies announced the acquisition of Inmate Calling Solutions (ICS). The transaction has largely gone unnoticed outside of the occasional financial report describing the $350 million deal as a “costly purchase” that “removes a marginal competitor.” But a closer look at the relationship between Securus and ICS may raise serious anti-trust concerns that will cost incarcerated people and their support networks much more.
After the deal is finalized, advocates estimate that as much as 90% of the correctional telecom market will be split between two companies, Securus and Global Tel Link (GTL). Until now, GTL has led the $1.2 billion industry. However, when the ICS deal closes, Securus will likely become the nation’s largest correctional telecom provider as measured by revenue, number of contracts, or facilities served and be well-positioned for organic growth.