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Fiat deal with Chrysler likely to close today

By AP

NEW YORK –

NEW YORK (AP) - Chrysler is a step closer to emerging from bankruptcy protection.

The Supreme Court has cleared the way for the sale of the bulk of Chrysler's assets to Fiat. The high court rejected an appeal by a trio of Indiana pension and construction funds, consumer groups and others who wanted to block the transaction.

The deal has the backing of the Obama administration. It will likely close today, according to A person briefed on the company's plans who declined to be named ahead of an official announcement.

Chrysler released a statement last night saying it expects the sale to close "very shortly."

Chrysler cleared another obstacle when a bankruptcy judge approved a plan to terminate 789 dealer franchises.

Many of the dealers were trying to sell the last cars on their lots and preparing to shut their doors for good at the end of the day. Others plan to sell used cars or other brands after severing ties with Chrysler.

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