It's fake: Google didn't buy hotspot provider for $400 million

It's fake: Google didn't buy hotspot provider for $400 million

Summary: A fake press release leads to millions of shares in a less-than-a-penny stock being traded. Simply put, Google didn't buy ICOA.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Networking
4

We've been had. And so have a few others. But for a day a penny stock called ICOA had quite a run courtesy of a fake press release indicating Google bought the company for $400 million.

A fake press release distributed on PRWeb indicated that Google would expand its Wi-Fi and wired footprint via the acquisition of ICOA for $400 million. ICOA provides Wi-Fi hotspots in the U.S.

At midday, more than 3 billion shares (pink sheets) traded over the counter for ICOA.

The catch: The acquisition is a sham. CNET News pinged ICOA's leadership, who indicated that the acquisition is fake. We have emails out. 

icoashares

 

Given Google's flirtations with being an ISP, the news didn't look all that surprising. In retrospect, the price tag is ridiculous. Here's the fake release and a screen grab for posterity. 

icoascreen

 

Topic: Networking

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

4 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • And now the SEC and DOJ get involved

    We can be looking to criminal charges in the near future for stock fraud. I hope they can track down the culprit(s).
    Rick_R
    • Shocking

      Shocking how easy it is to manipulate the market this way.
      dsf3g
      • Shocking

        Shocking how easy it is to manipulate journalists this way.
        John Zern
  • Liability

    They should hold news sites legally liable for the damages. Journalists should research their sources before publishing such reports.
    Reow