PORTLAND, Ore. -- The proposed megamerger of three of the West's major operators is being hailed by observers as a very positive and significant move in the industry's ongoing consolidation. Fred Meyer Inc. had been the nation's 10th largest food retailer before the proposed merger. Under the merger, Ralphs Grocery Co., Compton, Calif., and Quality Food Centers, Bellevue, Wash., will combine with Fred Meyer Inc. here in separate deals, creating the nation's fifth largest retail food ...

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