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Bickering pizza rivals get technical

DALLAS Competitors Pizza Hut and Domino's used measurements -- including pepperoni count -- in an exchange of press releases Tuesday that debated which chain offered the best value.

Pizza Hut is pushing its Pizza Mia deal, in which customers can order three or more one-topping pizzas for $5 each. On the other side is Domino's, whose 444 Deal offers four one-topping pies for $4 each.

Pizza Hut asserted in a press release Tuesday morning that its Pizza Mia special, which is made with 12-inch pies, is 44 percent more pizza than the four 10-inch pizzas offered by Domino's. Domino's fired back that afternoon, saying that its 444 Deal pizzas feature more pepperoni -- 25 pepperoni slices per pie versus 20 slices on each Pizza Mia.

Domino's also playfully accused its rival of being obsessed with size. "It makes us wonder," Domino's said in the release, "do they have pizza -- or pepperoni -- envy?"

Regardless, both deals underscore the pressure that Pizza Hut and Domino's feel to drive sales during a tough economic time. Both chains have struggled financially in the face of rising commodities costs and tightened consumer spending.

Dallas-based Pizza Hut, which has almost 6,200 domestic units, is a division of Louisville, Ky.-based Yum! Brands Inc. Domino's Pizza is based in Ann Arbor, Mich., and has around 5,000 domestic units.

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