Reports that Wal-Mart was "stalking" Safeway with a view to an eventual takeover have been greeted with scepticism on both sides of the Atlantic this week. City analysts poured cold water on the stories with the comment: "It's not likely, and in any case the UK competition authorities would never allow it." Many believe that the Arkansas giant's next foray into Europe will be in France, but industry observers believe that even that development could be some time away. {{NEWS }}

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