Monday through Friday, Marketplace demystifies the digital economy in less than 10 minutes. We look past the hype and ask tough questions about an industry that’s constantly changing.
Microsoft moves further into the gaming market with Activision Blizzard purchase
Microsoft announced plans this week to buy game developer and publisher Activision Blizzard, known for games like World of Warcraft and Overwatch, for an all-cash deal worth almost $69 billion. Both companies are big players in the gaming market — Microsoft makes the Xbox — meaning the massive deal is likely to attract scrutiny from antitrust regulators, even as Activision Blizzard continues to face allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams speaks with Dina Bass, Seattle bureau chief and technology reporter for Bloomberg News, to get a sense of Microsoft’s strategy.
The next steps in the 5G rollout
AT&T and Verizon are set to turn on their newest 5G technology Wednesday. Both companies purchased rights to more of the spectrum last year and have been ready to deploy it for months. But those plans have been on hold over concerns the expansion into that bandwidth could interfere with the tech on planes, specifically an aircraft’s altimeter, one of the tools that help planes land safely. To mitigate those concerns, the Federal Aviation Administration released a list of 50 airports that will have 5G buffer zones. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams speaks with Joe Kane, director of broadband and spectrum policy at the Information Technology & Innovation Foundation.
The FCC is poised to expand tribal broadband. It’s acutely needed. (rerun)
The government achieves a breakthrough in its case against Meta
A U.S. District Court handed Lina Khan, the head of the Federal Trade Commission, a win this week. The judge gave the go-ahead for the FTC to continue its antitrust suit against Meta, the parent company of Facebook, alleging that the company pursued an illegal “buy-or-bury scheme” to root out competitors. The court shot down the agency’s initial complaint in June, after the judge said the FTC failed to sufficiently define the social media market and the company’s share of it. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams speaks with Matt Stoller, director of research at the American Economic Liberties Project.
The gaming industry sees major revenue in going mobile
Take-Two Interactive, publisher of big franchise video games like Grand Theft Auto and NBA 2K, announced its plans this week to buy Zynga, a mobile game developer known for Words With Friends, and to take you back a bit, “FarmVille.” The deal is reportedly worth $12.7 billion and demonstrates the future of gaming is more than powerful PCs. This is a topic for our “Quality Assurance” series, where we take a second look at a big tech story. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams speaks with Jay Peters, a news writer at The Verge covering this story.
How artificial intelligence could influence hospital triage
The latest surge of COVID infections has hospitals crowded, short-staffed and, in some cases, rationing care. That means sometimes hospital clinicians have to go through a triage process to prioritize who gets care first, or at all. For example, a doctor may decide that a patient suffering respiratory failure should be admitted to the intensive-care unit over someone who seems to have minor injuries from a car accident. But that distinction, especially in a crisis, might not be so clear-cut. So medical research centers like Johns Hopkins and Stanford are studying how machine learning might help. Marketplace’s Kimberly Adams speaks with Dr. Ron Li, a clinical assistant professor at Stanford Medicine, where he’s medical informatics director for digital health and artificial intelligence clinical integration.