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Business Highlights

By The Associated Press

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Gasoline prices get early start on spring surge

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ Gasoline prices are getting an early start on their annual spring march higher.

The average U.S. retail price rose 13 cents over the past two weeks to $3.42 per gallon, and within a few days it will likely set a record for this time of year.

The culprits: Rising crude oil prices, slowing output at refineries that are undergoing maintenance, and low supplies of gasoline.

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US challenges deal to merge Budweiser and Corona

WASHINGTON (AP) â¿¿ The Justice Department filed a lawsuit Thursday to stop Anheuser-Busch InBev's proposed $20.1 billion purchase of Mexican brewer Grupo Modelo, which would bring together the owners of popular beers like Budweiser and Corona.

The government said the deal could lead to higher beer prices here because it would substantially reduce competition in the U.S. beer market, particularly in 26 metropolitan areas. It said the merged firm would control nearly half the beer sales in the U.S.

Anheuser-Busch InBev promised a court fight to preserve the deal.

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Ready to rumble: Super Bowl fans get in the game

NEW YORK (AP) â¿¿ You don't have to be a football player to be a part of the action on Super Bowl Sunday.

Coca-Cola is asking people to vote for an online match between three groups competing in a desert for a Coke on Game Day. Pepsi and Toyota are using viewers' photos in their ads. Audi let people choose the end of its Super Bowl ad, while Lincoln based its spot on more 6,000 tweets from fans about their road trips.

These are just some ways advertisers have found to get viewers involved in the excitement on Game Day by luring them online. And they're going well beyond encouraging fans to tweet or "like" their ads on websites like Twitter Facebook.

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