Fiat Chrysler Automobiles is to merge its media and publishing business Itedi with Italian media group, GELE, and focus on the core business of making cars.

"The merger will result in the creation of the leader in the Italian media and newspaper publishing business, with…. FCA holding approximately 16% of the share capital of the combined entity, while FCA's minority partner (Ital Press Holding) controlled by the Perrone family), would hold approximately 5% of the combined entity," FCA said in an emailed statement.

Translation by Britain's Guardian newspaper: Italian newspapers La Repubblica and La Stampa will be brought together under one roof.

CIR said in a statement the merger would be complete by 30 June and the dailies would keep their titles.

The Guardian said the most significant consolidation in Italy's struggling print media sector since the digital revolution unites the production of country's third and fourth best-selling papers. La Repubblica, founded in 1976, has a left-leaning perspective while La Stampa, first published in 1867 in industrial Turin in Italy's north-west, is considered the voice of the billionaire Agnelli family, founders of the Fiat car maker.

"This transaction brings to a conclusion the role played – first by Fiat and then by FCA – for more than 40 years," FCA said. "That role was instrumental in saving the publishing group on three different occasions by providing it the financial resources necessary to preserve its independence and, as a consequence, its status as an authoritative source."