Australian mobile network axed for ‘Huawei ban’

AFP . Sydney | Update:

In this file photo taken on 18 December 2018 the Huawei logo stands on a Huawei office building in Dongguan in China’s southern Guangdong province. The US Justice Department unveiled on January 28, 2019 sweeping charges against Chinese telecommunications giant Huawei in two cases likely to ratchet up tensions between the two superpowers. Photo: AFPAn Australian telecommunications company on Tuesday cancelled plans to create the country's fourth mobile phone network, blaming a recent security-driven ban on China's Huawei.

TPG claimed having its "principal equipment vendor" barred from 5G networks meant the project was no longer viable.

The company said had already spent Aus$100 million (US$71 million) on building a new network, a potential boon for consumers.

But the decision could smooth the way for government approval of a merger between TPG and Vodafone worth an estimated Aus$15 billion.

Watchdogs had expressed concern about Vodafone and TPG merging because of their mobile businesses.

Market incumbent Telstra saw their stocks rise around five per cent on the news, which will also be welcomed by competitors Singtel-owned Optus and Vodafone.

Under the proposed merger, Vodafone Australia -- privately-owned by Hong Kong-based CK Hutchison and Britain's Vodafone Group -- will hold the majority stake at 50.1 per cent in TPG.

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