Telstra and TPG Telecom accepted a decision by the Australian Competition Tribunal upholding a competition watchdog move to block a proposed regional network sharing deal.

In a statement, Telstra explained it won’t appeal the tribunal’s move to back a decision by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to block a proposed regional infrastructure sharing arrangement, noting it wasn’t convinced the deal wouldn’t substantially lower competition.

Telstra added it considered the judgement and will not be appealing the decision.

In a separate statement, TPG Telecom noted it will not seek judicial review of tribunal’s ruling affirming the ACCC’s decision not to authorise the network sharing deal.

TPG Telecom said it will continue to “explore commercial options to expand its mobile network, which currently reaches 96 per cent of Australia’s population, and will advocate for sensible policy reform for improved connectivity in regional Australia”.

Under the proposed plan, TPG Telecom was to decommission or transfer mobile sites in regional and urban fringe areas to Telstra and provide access to most of its regional spectrum.

TPG Telecom would have gained access to Telstra’s network on a wholesale basis for a decade.

Telstra is the largest operator in Australia by subscribers, ending June with 17.8 million.

Singtel-owned Optus had 10.3 million and TPG Telecom 5.4 million.