The competition watchdog will not appeal the Federal Court’s decision in February to allow a TPG and Vodafone merger.

The ACCC had argued the merger would be anti-competitive and believed TPG would have completed its abandoned mobile network, resulting in a fourth carrier.

However on Thursday ACCC officials said they did not have grounds for appeal, which would require them to prove an error by the judge.

The merger still needs approval from other regulators including the Foreign Investment Review Board.

Meanwhile, TPG reported first half profit had more than tripled to $143.6 million, but the figures are complicated by decisions prior to its planned merger.

TPG had been building a 4G mobile network to better compete with Telstra and Optus, but abandoned it due to mounting costs and the federal government’s decision to bar China’s Huawei from supplying equipment for 5G networks.

TPG’s cancellation of its network meant its first half result a year ago was substantially lower due to $227.4 million in expenses.

Factoring this in, the company’s underlying first half 2020 profit was down by 30 per cent.

This is due to $53.7 million of Australian spectrum amortisation, and a $19.6 million increase in net financing costs.

TPG said the latter was due primarily to the cessation of interest capitalisation from the mobile network.

TPG will pay a fully franked 3.0 cents per share interim dividend, up from 2.0 cents a year ago.