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Ten stories you may have missed Thursday from the world of business

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REUTERS
FAST FOOD

Dunkin’ blames weak revenue on price increases

Dunkin' Brands' revenue was not as strong as some expected in the second quarter as the chain blamed price increases for keeping some customers away. Though the company edged out profit expectations, it trimmed its revenue growth expectations for the year, citing its plans to sell off some of the stores it owns to franchisees. In the United States, same-store sales at Dunkin' Donuts locations edged up 0.5 percent as higher average spending set off a decline in customer visits. CEO Nigel Travis said the company's franchisees raised prices to offset higher labor costs around the country. Meanwhile, Travis said Dunkin' is working on improving the quality of its food to better compete with rivals. For the egg product in its breakfast sandwiches, Dunkin' said it has been testing a formula that should be in stores nationally by the end of August or September. The company said the new product will have a higher concentration of egg, and less water content and other ingredients. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

TELEVISION

Dish loses a record number of subscribers

Dish Network Corp. lost a record number of TV subscribers in the second quarter as programming blackouts and price increases drove customers to seek cheaper online alternatives, reviving industrywide concerns about "cord-cutting." Dish shed 281,000 pay-TV customers in the quarter, compared with a loss of 81,000 a year earlier, according to a statement from the Englewood, Colo.-based company Thursday. That marks the biggest loss of TV subscribers in any quarter. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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COPYRIGHT

One of largest file-sharing sites facing charges

US prosecutors have charged the alleged owner of one of the world's largest file-sharing websites, Kickass Torrents, with distributing millions of copies of copyrighted movies, music, video games, TV shows, e-books, and software valued at more than $1 billion. In a criminal complaint unsealed this week in Chicago, where some of the site's servers were located, prosecutors said Hollywood movies that were legally available only in theaters at the time often appeared on the site. Newer films on the site, known as KAT, included ''Captain America: Civil War'' and ''Independence Day: Resurgence.'' Artem Vaulin, 30, of Kharkiv, Ukraine, was arrested Wednesday in Poland and the United States is seeking his extradition, the US attorney's office in Chicago said in a statement. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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FINANCE

JPMorgan Chase expected to settle hiring probe

JPMorgan Chase & Co. is expected to settle later this year with the US Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission to end a three-year probe into whether it inappropriately hired the children of Chinese decision-makers to win business, according to people familiar with the matter. The bank is expected to pay around $200 million in the settlements over its hiring practices, according to one of the two people, who both asked not to be named because they weren't authorized to discuss the negotiations publicly. The SEC and JPMorgan declined to comment. The Justice Department didn't respond to a request for comment. At issue in the inquiry is whether the bank hired relatives of influential Chinese officials or executives of state-run enterprises to help obtain business or even as a reward, and whether that ran afoul of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977, which makes it illegal to provide pay or benefits to a foreign government official. The law also specifies what records must be kept to ensure compliance. The SEC and then the Justice Department began looking into possible violations at New York-based JPMorgan, the largest US bank, in 2013. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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FAST FOOD

McDonald’s to partner with makers of Pokemon Go

McDonald's will become the first major corporation to collaborate with the makers with the wildly popular ''Pokemon Go.'' The company, based outside of Chicago, will partner with the developer Niantic in Japan where, to the frustration of legions of would-be players, the game has yet to launch. Details of the collaboration were not released. Small businesses like bars and stores have bought ''lures'' and ''incense,'' objects in the game that attract Pokémon creatures and, more importantly, players. But no company has officially partnered with Niantic before now. In ''Pokemon Go,'' launched this month, players search for digital creatures that pop up on smartphone screens as they move through real-world locations. It has been a smash hit in countries including the United States, Australia, and elsewhere. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

MORTGAGE

Rates edge higher

Long-term US mortgage rates edged higher this week, remaining near historically low levels as a continued enticement to prospective homebuyers. Mortgage giant Freddie Mac said Thursday the average for the benchmark 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose to 3.45 percent from 3.42 percent last week. The average rate is down sharply from 4.04 percent a year ago. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate increased to 2.75 percent from 2.72 percent last week. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

TOYS

Barbie makes a comeback

Barbie is back. The doll brand's sales rose 23 percent in the second quarter, helping Mattel's revenue top analysts' estimates and propelling the shares as much as 3.2 percent higher on Thursday. Such a strong performance for Mattel's biggest brand would have been difficult to predict last year, when Barbie was losing market share to competitors like Disney Princess and ''Frozen'' dolls. President Richard Dickson has turned around the 57-year-old property by making it more relevant to today's girls and moms, with marketing focused on female empowerment and new models featuring curvier hips and shorter legs. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

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RETAIL

Back-to-school spending to grow 11 percent

US back-to-school spending will grow 11 percent this year, a sign that families are more confident about the economy and ready to stock up on supplies, according to a survey from the National Retail Federation. Families with children ranging from kindergarten through 12th grade will shell out about $673.57 this year, the trade organization said in a statement. That's up from $630.36 in 2015, when the number declined. In total, college and K-12 families will spend $75.8 billion, up from $68 billion last year. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

UNEMPLOYMENT

New claims fall unexpectedly

The number of applications for US unemployment benefits unexpectedly fell last week, reaching a three-month low, indicating the labor market remains steady. Initial jobless claims dropped by 1,000 to 253,000 in the week ended July 16, from an unrevised 254,000 in the prior period, a report from the Labor Department showed Thursday in Washington. The median forecast of 44 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for 265,000. In April, applications were at a four-decade low of 248,000. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

AVIATION

Southwest struggles to recover from computer outage

Southwest Airlines struggled to recover Thursday from a massive computer outage, as several hundred more flights were canceled or delayed around the country. Airline executives said a router breakdown set off a chain of failures in critical technology systems. Backup systems didn't work as expected, they said. Southwest said that ''most systems'' recovered by Thursday morning. The airline hoped to be operating normally on Friday, said CEO Gary Kelly. By mid-afternoon Thursday, Southwest had canceled more than 400 flights and at least 1,300 more were delayed, according to FlightStats Inc. On Wednesday, the airline said it canceled nearly 700 flights, and FlightStats said another 2,100 were delayed. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

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