Australia’s competition tribunal blocks Telstra-TPG Telecom network sharing deal By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A man looks at his phone as he walks past a Telstra logo adorning a phone booth in the central business district (CBD) of Sydney in Australia, February 13, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray

(Reuters) – The Australian Competition Tribunal has upheld a decision to block a network sharing agreement between wireless internet firms Telstra (OTC:) Group and TPG Telecom, TPG said on Wednesday.

Under the deal announced in February last year, Telstra would have bought spectrum – airwaves which carry wireless internet – and transmission towers from TPG Telecom, while TPG would have kept selling 4G and 5G coverage using Telstra infrastructure.

The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) had ruled against the plan in December, much to the delight of Optus, the country’s No. 2 wireless internet provider – owned by Singapore Telecommunications.

TPG will review the tribunal’s decision before considering its options for further appeal, including a judicial review in the Federal Court, the company said in a statement.

Shares of TPG fell 8.63% to A$5.09 in early trading.

Optus CEO Kelly Bayer (OTC:) Rosmarin said they were delighted “the tribunal has upheld the ACCC’s original decision to block this anti-competitive arrangement.”

The ACCC did not immediately respond to a Reuters’ request for comment.

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