Bharti Airtel is reported to be deep in talks with South African mobile group MTN Group over what has been described as a ‘merger of equals’. ‘Bharti still wants majority control, but MTN prefers a full takeover which in South Africa can be portrayed as a merger of equals. Talks this week are focused on a full takeover’ an unnamed person close to Bharti was quoted in the local press as saying. The same source said Bharti was considering paying as much as USD20 billion in cash and the rest through a share swap. MTN’s current market value is estimated at around USD36 billion.