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Sunday, Oct 1, 2023

Fantasy Sports Startup Responds to Industry Inquiry

Aliso Viejo-based startup FantasyAces LLC has changed some internal policies in the wake of a data analysis scandal that has shaken up the nascent and booming daily fantasy sports industry.

FantasyAces, which runs daily baseball, football, basketball and hockey leagues, became the latest company to prohibit employees from playing fantasy sports on competing websites, which had been a widespread accepted practice in the sector until recently.

“It’s absolutely a forced hand,” said co-founder Bryan Frisina. “We just have to be proactive and adapt.”

FanDuel Inc. and DraftKings Inc., which together have about a 96% market share, were the first to take that step after news surfaced that DraftKings employee Ethan Haskell won $350,000 on rival site FanDuel after using player roster data gleaned from his job, potentially creating an advantage in assembling his teams.

In daily fantasy sports leagues, players fill up their roster within a working-salary cap. FantasyAces, which was founded in 2012 and has a tenuous hold on the third spot in the industry, hasn’t been implicated in any wrongdoing, though it employs fantasy sports experts in high-ranking positions.

“We have an extreme amount of honesty and integrity in which we operate our company,” Frisina said. “We have controls and regulations that limit viewership of certain information.”

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an inquiry into DraftKings and FanDuel practices, a probe that could invite more regulatory and political scrutiny.

A Kentucky man also filed a class-action lawsuit against both companies, alleging fraud.

Self-Driving Security

Safety and security issues are plaguing automakers, IT providers and component suppliers as the industry wrestles with the development of autonomous, or self-driving, cars.

“Cybersecurity is the highest priority at every [original equipment manufacturer] right now,” according to Kia Motors America Chief Technology Strategist Henry Bzieh.

Bzieh, who heads the connected-car division at the local unit of South Korea-based Kia Motors Corp., was part of an Oct. 6 expert panel on intelligent transportation systems at the 2015 CleanTech OC Conference & Expo at UC Irvine’s Institute for Innovation.

Pedro Noyola, product marketing director at Telogis Inc., said the Aliso Viejo-based logistics software maker keeps data in the cloud and doesn’t disseminate that information to third parties.

“What we want to do is keep it very private,” he said.

Telogis develops telematics software and connectivity systems for several big automakers, including GM; Anaheim-based Isuzu Commercial Truck of America Inc.; Volvo Group’s North American truck division; and Ford.

Security and data breach concerns have grown in recent months following a publicized Jeep Cherokee hacking demonstration that led London-based Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to recall 1.4 million vehicles.

Michael Boehm, executive director of trade group e4 Advanced Transportation Center of Southern California, proposed that the region rely on its legacy in defense and aerospace work and “migrate that defense-level cyber security for drones for what essentially will be partially manned, or unmanned vehicles.”

The Business Journal reported in August that Aliso Viejo-based chipmaker Microsemi Corp., which has long developed crucial components for defense and weapons systems, satellites, space exploratory vehicles and other mission-critical applications, entered the auto market with two chip offerings it says consume less power while providing more security and reliability in advanced driver-assistance systems; vehicle-to-vehicle and vehicle-to-device communication; and electric/hybrid engine controls, among others.

Bits & Pieces

European Union regulators are expected to weigh in on Avago Technologies Ltd.’s $37 million buy of Irvine-based Broadcom Corp. by Nov. 9. It can clear the priciest deal in tech history—which would create the third largest chipmaker in the world—without concessions or opening an antitrust investigation.

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