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The next benchmark for Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV's merger with French automaker Groupe PSA is set for next month.

The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, has set a provisional deadline of June 17 to announce whether it will approve the 50-50 transatlantic tie-up. The Friday commission filing comes days after Fiat Chrysler CEO Mike Manley reaffirmed the companies were on track to complete the combination by the end of the year or in early 2021, despite financial challenges from the COVID-19 outbreak.

The European Commission could approve the deal, or it may open a four-month investigation into the merger that would bring FCA's brands, including Jeep and Ram, and PSA's, including Citroën, Opel, Peugeot and Vauxhall, under one hood.

The combined company would be the fourth largest by volume and helmed by PSA CEO Carlos Tavares. Its domicile would be the Netherlands, though the yet to be named company would retain major operations in Auburn Hills as well as Italy and Paris. Executives have touted an annual $4.1 billion in savings and a scale to help the companies survive in an industry moving toward electrification and automation.

bnoble@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble

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