E3, Tesla patents, & Brazil's golden booty: Business Week Wrap

The exorbitant cost of the FIFA World Cup, the start of E3, a bold plan by Tesla to share its knowledge and a call for better quality jobs data were just some of the business stories making headlines this week.
From the high cost of hosting the World Cup to Tesla opening its patents up to the world, a wrap of the week's top business stories with CBC News's Jacqueline Hansen 2:24

The world's eyes cast a lingering gaze on the beautiful game this week, and the financial world was no exception.

Brazil is hosting the 2014 FIFA World Cup, and while the action on the pitch has so far been met with happy, cheering fans, that's not the reaction behind the scenes.

The 2014 games are already the most expensive in FIFA's history, with Brazil having spent a reported $11 billion to host the games. FIFA's been dogged with corruption allegations, and on the ground, many Brazilians who aren't soccer mad are protesting in the streets over the largesse — the peak of which might be the the white elephant being built in the Amazonian rain forest, a $319 million stadium in Manaus destined to host just four matches.

That type of spending is nothing new, and and at least from an economics perspective, host nations rarely recoup their costs in nebulous "economic benefits" business professor Victor Matheson told Amanda Lang on the Lang & O'Leary Exchange this week.

That's a lot of coin to throw down, just for the love of the game.

E3 kicks off

And speaking of games, the technology industry convened in Los Angeles this week for the world's largest digital Bacchanal.

E3 — the nickname for the Electronic Entertainment Expo — routinely draws the titans of the gaming world to show off their digital wares in the City of Angels.

Last year, the focus was on the next generation of consoles: Microsoft's XBox One, Sony's PlayStation 4, and Nintendo's Wii U.

But now that the hardware is out, the industry is focusing on the engine that drives the interest — the games themselves. CBC reporter Aaron Saltzman reported this week on an industry that's moving forward even as hardcore fans keep the love alive for its history.

Fuzzy math in jobs data

Closer to home, a prominent economist said Ottawa isn't doing a good job of getting exhaustive and extensive information about Canada's job market, and that could lead to bad policy down the line.

Don Drummond says the government should take steps to ensure the data they collect on the job market is accurate and concise before tinkering with policies like the Temporary Foreign Worker program or other steps to address the so-called skills gap.

"Policy changes are not necessarily informed by the information," he told Amanda Lang.

'All Our Patent Are Belong To You'

Innovative technology company Tesla Motors earned major digital kudos on Thursday by announcing it wouldn't defend its various patents if other companies decided to use them.

The title of the press release, "All Our Patent Are Belong To You" is an homage to a 90's-era video game joke but the move itself was a bold one by CEO Elon Musk, who said he has learned that instead of protecting creativity, excessive patent-guarding in the technology industry is merely a drag on innovation.

"We believe that Tesla, other companies making electric cars, and the world would all benefit from a common, rapidly-evolving technology platform," the Canadian born CEO said, inviting the world to kick the tires on his company's designs.

Opening up your books so that your competitors can start building on them is just more outside-the-box thinking from a company with many high-tech pots on the boil, including manned spacecraft such as SpaceX, and a futuristic system the company calls Hyperloop which could one day zip humans around major cities by shooting them through vacuum tubes, like individual subway cars.

Those were the biggest stories in the business world this week. Check in here this time next week to see what else we've been cooking up at CBC.CA/business. Don't forget to follow us on Twitter here.