MILAN (Reuters) – Shares in French carmaker Renault rose more than 4% on Monday, with traders citing media speculation over a potential combination with rival Stellantis.

Citing unnamed financial sources, Italian daily Il Messaggero reported on Sunday that France is considering a merger between the two to strengthen its grip on the sector and counter Chinese and German competition.

Stellantis said it would not comment on the “the groundless speculation on Il Messaggero”.

Equita analysts said such a deal would face clear antitrust obstacles, along with social issues due to duplications of facilities in France.

Stellantis shares fell 0.2%.

(Reporting by Danilo Masoni; Editing by Amanda Cooper)

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