After the first day of testimony by Kirk Kerkorian - who is claiming that he was defrauded in the 1998 merger that formed DaimlerChrysler - both sides' attorneys claimed to have come out on top, according to media reports.

Eighty-six year old Kerkorian was on the stand for five-and-a-half hours and he faced charges from DC's legal team that he had attempted to buy Chrysler himself 'on the cheap' in the mid-1990s and had himself championed the merger deal.

Kerkorian said that he was surprised and upset by Schrempp's 'revelation' that the so-called merger of equals was a psychological ploy designed to make the merger deal acceptable to those who would reject the idea of a takeover. He also said that he was therefore cheated out of the premium price he would have demanded had he known Daimler-Benz intended to dominate Chrysler. His mid-1990s' offer included a 40% premium for shareholders, he said.

Kerkorian's lawyers say the 1998 deal that produced DaimlerChrysler carried only a 28% stock price adjustment, not a premium for shareholders.

He said repeatedly that he liked the proposed deal with Daimler-Benz, but that his decision was not influenced by a warning memo from Jerome York, the former Chrysler chief financial officer he put on the payroll at his Tracinda Corp. to help him learn more about the company in the midst of the mid-1990s' takeover attempt.

Tracinda gave the former Chrysler CFO a $26 million signing bonus and paid him about $40 million in a bonus for enhancing the value of Kerkorian's Chrysler stock.

York's memo warned of financial dangers that could threaten the carmaker's future stock price. According to Kerkorian, such details were not important in his decision-making processes.

Kekorian is seeking $1 billion in damages - the amount he says he should have received as a takeover premium had he known that Daimler-Benz was seeking full control of Chrysler.

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