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Within the week, a new megamerger in the oil industry between Britain's BP Amoco and Los Angeles-based Atlantic Richfield (ARCO) is expected to be announced, major financial publications reported. ARCO did not return calls seeking comment; BP Amoco confirmed only that negotiations were in progress. The stock-swap deal would be worth an estimated $25 billion and - if approved by regulators - would give the combined companies more than 70 percent ownership of the trans-Alaska pipeline. BP is Britain's largest company and the world's third-largest marketer of petroleum products. It completed a $57.6 billion takeover of Amoco in December.

Xerox purchased Paris-based SET Electronique for an undisclosed sum. Xerox said the privately held French firm builds high-speed printers that use newsprint-style paper rolls. SET employs about 100 workers in France, Belgium, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

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