NET RIVALS WEBVAN AND HOMEGROCER TO MERGE

FOSTER CITY, Calif. -- Webvan Group here said last week it would merge with its largest Internet rival, Kirkland, Wash.-based HomeGrocer.-com, in a stock deal valued at $1.2 billion.The deal combines the two largest "pure-plays" in the Internet grocery business and, officials say, allows the combined company to compete not with one another, but with their brick-and-mortar counterparts."This deal combines

FOSTER CITY, Calif. -- Webvan Group here said last week it would merge with its largest Internet rival, Kirkland, Wash.-based HomeGrocer.-com, in a stock deal valued at $1.2 billion.

The deal combines the two largest "pure-plays" in the Internet grocery business and, officials say, allows the combined company to compete not with one another, but with their brick-and-mortar counterparts.

"This deal combines the two premier Internet grocers with the capability to deliver the las

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