The Airtel, Tigo merger talks, which has been ongoing for about a year now, is in danger of being scuttled by government’s demand of a stake in the new entity to be created from the merger. According to sources close to the merger talks, the demand is one of the major factors that is holding back the National Communications Authority (NCA) from granting its approval to the deal which would create the second largest mobile network after MTN. Government’s demand is premised on a decade-old transaction when government sold 75 percent of its shares in Westel to MTC Group which operated Zain. Zain was later acquired by Airtel in 2010. Government has over the years, through the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC), maintained a 25 percent stake in Airtel amidst accusations that it has not invested in the operations of the company as is required of all shareholders. The demand being made by government is said to be a condition that must be accepted by Airtel Ghana before the regulator will sanction the merger with Tigo, operated by Millicom Ghana. According to sources close to the two telcos, the demand by government is seen as a setback to the discussions with Airtel for instance, not too much enthused about the latest twist of events which has the potential of putting off prospective investors. The latest twist on the other hand could also lead to Tigo developing cold feet over merging with a company that is partially owned by government, a situation that could change the dynamics of how they envision the proposed entity. The regulator is also expected to withdraw the two spectra held by the two entities should the merger go through and provide the new entity with a new spectrum that will meet its operational requirements.