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A federal court ruled Thursday in favor of U.S.-German automaker DaimlerChrysler AG in a high-profile securities lawsuit that pitted billionaire investor Kirk Kerkorian against the company.

Kerkorian sued DaimlerChrysler for more than $1 billion, claiming DaimlerBenz engineered a takeover of Chrysler Corp. in 1998, then cheated him out of an acquisition fee by claiming it was a merger of equals.

DaimlerChrysler insisted the merger was one of equals and that Kerkorian, whose Tracinda Corp. was Chrysler's largest shareholder at the time, grew disgruntled when his stock price fell.

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