The price of a corporate divorce can be steep, as General Motors Corp. can attest to. The world’s largest auto maker has agreed to pay $2 billion to its ailing Italian alliance partner, Fiat Auto SpA, to nullify a clause in their original pact that would have forced GM to purchase by 2010 the 90% stake in Fiat Auto it did not already own. (See related story: Fiat-GM Mediation Ends Without Agreement) The clause, along with the entire pact, now is dead. After months of saber rattling, the ...

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