FRANKFURT, Nov 21 (Reuters) - Fiat Chrysler on Thursday said its talks with Peugeot to create the fourth-largest carmaker are going well, despite a racketeering lawsuit filed by General Motors late on Wednesday, seeking "substantial damages."
GM filed a lawsuit against Fiat Chrysler alleging that its rival bribed United Auto Workers (UAW) union officials over many years to corrupt the bargaining process and gain advantages, costing GM billions of dollars.
"Talks are progressing smoothly," a FiatChrysler spokesman said about ongoing talks with Pegueot on Thursday.
In a letter to employees, Fiat Chrysler Chief Executive Mike Manley said: "We are astonished by this filing, both its content and its timing. We can only assume it was intended to disrupt our proposed merger with PSA."
FiatChrysler will vigorously defend itself against this "meritless" lawsuit, the letter which was seen by Reuters said.
"I am sure you have all read this statement but I also wanted to reach out to you on a personal level to assure you that we will not be slowed down by this act," Manley said.
Reporting by Edward Taylor Editing by Michelle Martin