What do MTN and Microsoft have in common? They seem to be embroiled in endless talks about acquisitions that never seem to materialise. The latest rumour in the MTN/Reliance sage is that it's once again cosying up to Bharti Airtel if the new round of Reliance talks come to naught.

MTN initially started negotiations with Bharti which fell apart due to Indian regulations regarding the level of foreign investment allowed in Indian companies.
Bharti, India's biggest mobile operator, is already partly owned by Singapore Telecoms.
MTN subsequently opened negotiations with Reliance Communications, which started looking messy when family conflicts started coming into play.
Although the two companies have extended their talks until 21 July, insiders believe MTN may already be looking to a different deal with Bharti. A formal approach would only be made after the Reliance talks are formally concluded.