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Japan reportedly helped derail Fiat's proposed merger with Renault

Key Points
  • The Japanese government helped derail Fiat Chrysler's proposed merger with Renault, Bloomberg News reports.
  • Renault holds a 43% stake in Japanese automaker Nissan.
FILE PHOTO: The logo of FIAT carmaker is seen on a vehicle in Cairo, Egypt, May 19, 2019. Picture taken May 19, 2019. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany/File Photo
Mohamed Abd El Ghany | Reuters

The Japanese government reportedly played a role in the breakdown of merger talks between Renault and Fiat Chrysler earlier this month, raising concerns the combination could harm Nissan, Bloomberg News reported Friday.

Japan signaled its misgivings over the deal to the French government, Bloomberg said, citing anonymous sources. France — Renault's largest shareholder — reportedly delayed negotiations to try to win Nissan's support, causing Fiat to withdraw its offer.

These new details on Japan's role show the obstacles to a quick revival in the talks. It also shows that France and Japan can find common ground to protect their carmakers and the strained two-decade Renault-Nissan alliance.

Spokespeople for Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry and the French Finance Ministry declined to comment. Representatives for Renault and Nissan also declined to comment in the Bloomberg report. Renault, Nissan and Fiat Chrysler didn't immediately respond to requests for comment from CNBC.

Renault and the French government are now focused on mending their relationships with Nissan, Bloomberg said.

The alliance between the two companies has been under strain since the November arrest of Carlos Ghosn, who oversaw both auto manufacturers and the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi Alliance. Tensions escalated after Renault's new chairman, Jean-Dominique Senard, pushed Nissan for a merger, which the Japanese automaker later rejected.

Read the full Bloomberg News Report here.