Fiat is one step closer to completing a merger with Chrysler after exercising an option to acquire an additional 3.3 percent of the Auburn Hills-based automaker today. Automotive News reports that Fiat now controls 68.49-percent of Chrysler, which is up almost 10 percent since we last heard news of this deal back in February when Fiat talking to various banks to raise more capital in order to complete the acquisition.

The article says that Fiat is still able to increase its stake in Chrysler up to 75 percent over the next 12 months, but it sounds like CEO Sergio Marchinonne would rather purchase the remaining shares from VEBA – the retiree benefits trust – sooner rather than later. Unfortunately, the two sides still seem far from an agreement on a fair price for the rest of Chrysler, as Fiat has them valued at $4.2 billion compared to the $10.3 billion estimate from the unions that currently own the remaining stake in Chrysler.

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