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Business Briefs

Reported by Star-Bulletin staff & wire

Friday, March 10, 2000

Continental boosts fares up to $40

DALLAS -- Continental Airlines Inc., boosted U.S. round-trip fares as much as $40 to make up for higher fuel prices. UAL Corp.'s United Airlines and Delta Air Lines Inc. said they were deciding whether to follow.

Continental, which led the industry in a $20 fare increase in January, raised leisure and business fares $20 on flights as far as 500 miles, $30 on trips 501 to 1,000 miles, and $40 on flights more than 1,000 miles, said Editor Tom Parsons. "This is the biggest fare (increase) I've ever seen," said Parsons, who has monitored airline fares for 17 years.

Continental will watch whether rivals adopt the increase. If they don't, Continental likely will rescind the higher fares to remain competitive. The carrier imposed a $30 fare increase Feb. 18, only to remove it after others failed to join.

Qwest, US West deal wins FCC's approval

WASHINGTON -- Federal regulators today conditionally approved the $50 billion merger of Qwest Communications Inc. and regional Bell company U S West Inc. Qwest will have to divest itself of its customers in the U S West territory of 14 Western states. The Federal Communications Commission gave conditional approval on a 5-0 vote. Some states are still reviewing the merger for approval.

The announcement comes a day after Deutsche Telekom AG abruptly ended talks to acquire the two Denver-based telecommunications companies.

In other news . . .

Bullet MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- Rambus Inc., which develops technology to make computer chips work faster, plans to split its shares 4-for-1 after they rose more than fivefold in the past 12 months. The news sent Rambus' stock up $41.55, or 11 percent, to a record close of $421. The split is the company's first since it sold shares to the public in 1997 at $12 apiece.

Bullet ARLINGTON, Va. -- US Airways Group Inc.'s flight attendants named New York, Los Angeles, Washington and 29 other cities as targets for local strikes if a contract with the carrier isn't reached by March 25.

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