The fresh outbreak of hostilities between the two Ambani brothers shows that the complex deal hammered out in June 2005 continues to be under strain.
Any division of a business empire has its complications and more so in the case of Mukesh and Anil Ambani, both of who are aggressive and ambitious businessmen. The latest battle is over the proposed merger between Reliance Communications and the MTN Group. The problem with the supply of natural gas from the Krishna-Godavari basin to the Anil Ambani group shows no signs of going away. Then there are competing bids for similar projects such as the trans-harbour link in Mumbai.
Large business groups do clash, especially in a dynamic and opportunity-laden economy such as India. A lasting division of territory is always unlikely to work here.
So, there is no need to be surprised at the sibling rivalry. The only concern is that there are minority shareholders involved in the various Reliance companies. Their long-term interest is as important as the interests of the two brothers.