Reliance Communications on Sunday said it has called off its planned merger with Aircel, which could have brought down its debt by over half. The two companies had announced their plans to merge in September 2016.

In an exchange filing, the Anil Ambani-led company said it had allowed the merger plan to lapse with mutual consent, as “legal and regulatory uncertainties and various interventions by vested interests” had caused delays in getting necessary approvals.

R-Comm also cited the heating competition in the telecom industry and policy changes as its reasons for calling the deal off.

In September 2016, Reliance Communications had said it would merge its wireless business with Aircel. The envisaged joint venture, worth Rs 35,000 crore, would have been the largest-ever consolidation deal in the telecom sector in India.

R-Comm and Maxis Communications Berhad, which owns majority stake in Aircel, both had planned to hold 50% stake in the venture and bring in equities worth Rs 7,800 crore.

Reliance Communications expected to cut its net debt of Rs 42,000 crore by around Rs 20,000 crore if the merger went through.