Official press office of Google refuted the information on the purchase of U.S. WiFi provider ICOA for $400M. However, the false news managed to play into the hands of criminals, as the shares of ICOA instantly jumped in price by five times.
Recall that the reported acquisition of ICOA which installs Wi-Fi hotspots in airports, hotels and other public places (in 40 states) was first published at PRWeb.com. The message gave the contact information of ICOA and described its activities. The information was quickly spread by several Western news sources.
However, first reaction of the imaginary transaction participants followed in a few hours: the head of ICOA George Strouthopoulos denied the press release at the company's website. The press service of Google also refuted the information a bit later.
Both companies called the press release falsified, and we can suggest that it is not a sad mistake, but a false report: the value of ICOA’s share was one cent before the news, and it increased by five times and became five cents per share after the publication of the press release and media coverage. U.S. regulators stopped trading of ICOA shares because of their speculative growth.
Later, the head of Vocus which manages PRWeb service, said that an unnamed party sent them the press release by mistake.