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Universal raises prices, matches Disney

Universal Orlando raised its ticket prices Friday, matching the new price that cross-town rival Walt Disney World announced a week ago.

The cost of a basic single-day, single-park ticket was raised from $67 to $71. Universal, owned by Univeral Studios Inc., also increased prices on a variety of two-park and multi-day packages, and on some tickets available only to Florida residents and only over the Internet, but not as much as the basic ticket.

The result is a stronger pricing push to get Universal visitors to buy package deals, and to buy tickets over the Internet.

“We’ve worked very hard to preserve value for Floridians, people who want multiple-day experiences and for those who buy online,” spokesman Tom Schroder said.

Children’s tickets went up from $56 to $60.

Schroder noted that the company did not increase the price of its EarlyBird Exclusive deal, which provides a seven-day, two-park pass over the Internet for $85.95.

On Sunday, Disney World raised its base ticket prices to $71 for adults and $60 for children, citing a need to establish its new price structures in time for the travel industry’s 2008 publications.

•Auto parts maker Dana Corp. on Friday posted a loss of $133 million in the second quarter as it continues efforts to restructure under bankruptcy protection.

The Toledo-based company that sells brakes, axles and other parts to most major automakers filed for bankruptcy protection in March 2006 amid pressure from big car makers to sell parts at lower prices in recent years.

The company reported the loss of $133 million, or 89 cents a share, for the three months ended June 30. In the same period a year ago, Dana reported a loss of $28 million, or 19 cents a share.

The company’s earnings were posted in its quarterly financial results statement filed Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company said it missed the Thursday filing deadline by a day because it needed additional time to complete the statement due to the complexity of reporting requirements during bankruptcy proceedings.

•Former Qwest Communications head Joe Nacchio put a federal court on notice Friday that he intends to appeal a six-year sentence handed down for his insider trading conviction.

The notice was submitted before Nacchio is expected to file a formal appeal of his conviction on 19 counts of illegally selling $52 million in stock in April and May 2001.

U.S. District Judge Edward Nottingham last month ordered Nacchio to prison for six years, to pay a $19 million fine and to forfeit $52 million in assets.

Defense attorneys have said they expect to file Nacchio’s full appeal next week, which likely will include arguments on a number of issues such as the exclusion of a defense witness’s testimony about the case.


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