On November 26, a press release was floating around and claimed that Google had bought Wi-Fi hotspot provider ICOA for $400 million dollars. The news resulted in a sudden spike in ICOA’s share prices. But the news was later found to be bogus.
Wi-Fi hotspot provider ICOA is specialized in providing Wi-Fi networks in high-traffic areas like airports and restaurants. It owns Wi-Fi networks across 40 states, and partners with iPass, Boingo Wireless, BroadSky Networks and others. Given Google’s latest interests in fiber-based Gigabit Ethernet networks and in a wireless carrier in partnership with Dish Network, the news of buying ICOA seemed perfectly legitimate. Therefore, when the rumor was swirling around, everyone easily believed that Google really had bought ICOA.
Many people instantly thought that the stock of ICOA would rise soon as ICOA had become Google’s property. And the stock prices took a sudden spike to $5/share, which was trading for a mere penny that morning before the rumor released. But in the end, it was found that Google had not bought ICOA and the news was fake.
PRWeb, who distributed the press release, has “removed the fraudulent release and turned the matter over to the proper authorities for further investigation.”