By John Kapetaneas
Morning Money Memo…
Could college athletes have a pay-day in their future? Video game maker EA Sports reached a $40 million settlement with college football and basketball players, ESPN.com reports. The case involves the use of players’ likeness in various medium, including video games. With EA Sports no longer a party in the suit, the NCAA is the lone defendant in the multi-million dollar antitrust case scheduled to begin on June 9.
The old axiom “it’s all about who you know” may be hitting closer to home for professional golfer Phil Mickelson. The three time Master’s winner is one of the subjects in an insider trading probe, the FBI and the SEC confirmed to ABC News. Investigators will be looking closely at trades made by Mickelson and golf course owner Billy Walters, surrounding the 2011 takeover bid for Clorox made by billionaire investor Carl Icahn. Mickelson maintains that he has done nothing wrong and has been cooperating with the investigation. Icahn, meanwhile, says that he has never given outside information, and does not even know Mickelson.
In market news this morning: European and Asian markets are largely in the green today. Japan’s Nikkei saw a 2 percent gain by the end of the trading day. In the U.S., Dow and S&P futures are positive going in to today’s trading day.
The Super Bowl of tech conferences: Apple’s Worldwide Developer’s Conference begins today in San Francisco. Apple fanatics, warmly referred to as the “Cult of Mac,” are chomping at the bit for exactly what news the conference will bring. Streaming music is expected to take center stage, while many are also expecting upgraded software announcements for all Apple devices. The conference comes at the heels of Apple’s $3 billion purchase of Beats Electronics. Apple stock is now up 8 percent in the last month.
It was a marvelous weekend for “Maleficent”; Disney’s fantasy-adventure take on the classic “Sleeping Beauty” hauled in $70 million at the domestic box office, and added roughly $100 million internationally. Second week blockbuster “X-Men: Days of Future Past” pulled in just under $33 million, while the Seth MacFarlane comedy “A Million Ways to Die in the West” came in third with $17 million.