Although the news that MTN and Bharti have agreed to extend the period of time during which they will negotiate exclusively around a merger may feel like deja vu to some, analysts have welcomed the move.

This morning, MTN and Bharti announced that they have agreed to extend the exclusivity period for their discussions regarding a potential transaction.
In a statement, MTN says that discussions between the parties regarding a potential transaction are continuing and both parties have agreed to extend the exclusivity period until up to 31 August 2009.
As yet, its says, there has been no decision or agreement to acquire any shares or implement the potential transaction by the boards of either MTN or Bharti.
"The discussions may or may not lead to any transaction and the structure and terms of the potential transaction may be adjusted to reflect further discussions between the parties," it states.
Frost & Sullivan senior ICT industry analyst Lindsey Mc Donald comments: "The extension of the exclusivity period by MTN and Bharti is welcome news for the industry.
"It is clear that there are a lot of synergies between the two companies that could work to their advantage. The fact that the period has been extended is likely to mean that both companies feel as if there is a good prospect for some type of agreement.
"If one takes into account that on two previous ocasions MTN has failed to reach a satisfactory agreement and abandoned these talks, the extension can be seen as a positive sign. The relatively short extension would suggest that they mean to complete this process one way or another without much more delay."