Newsletters
Business News for Technology Decision-Makers NewsFactor Sites:       NewsFactor.com     Enterprise Security Today     CRM Daily     Business Report     Sci-Tech Today  
   
This ad will display for the next 20 seconds. Click for more information, or
Home Business Briefing Mobile Industry News Small Business Business Intelligence More Topics...
Business Briefing
DDoS Protection Powered By Verisign
Average Rating:
Rate this article:  
Scammer Faked News of Google Buying ICOA for $400M

Scammer Faked News of Google Buying ICOA for $400M
By Jennifer LeClaire

Share
Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Share on Google Plus

"We are investigating the source, so far it originated from Aruba," said ICOA CEO George Strouthopoulos of the hoax about Google buying his company. "This is not true. Never had any discussions with any potential acquirers! This is absolutely false! Someone, I guess a stock promoter with a dubious interest, is disseminating wrong, false and misleading info."
 


Stock in wireless hotspot provider ICOA quintupled when news reports began circulating Monday morning that Google had acquired it for $400 million. The only problem was the report was a hoax.

A Google spokesperson told us the company had not acquired ICOA for any amount and ICOA's chairman and CEO also told us directly that news of the acquisition was "absolutely false."

PR Web, a widely used press-release distribution service, had distributed a release announcing the acquisition. A representative at PR Web could not immediately be reached for comment, although a recorded message instructs callers to contact companies mentioned in press releases about any questions related to a release.

A Flurry of Reports

Based on the hoax press release, news media quickly began reporting the acquisition as fact. ZDNet was among the first to report the story. Forbes also reported on the "acquisition" and GigaOM offered reasons why Google would acquire the company. The Associated Press moved a story, then later retracted it.

PC Magazine offered a statement from Google taken from the news release, reporting "Google said it made the acquisition to 'further diversify its already impressive portfolio of companies.' The Web giant did not elaborate about its motivation for the deal."

ICOA, a penny stock trading over the counter, spiked to quintuple its value, trading at 5 cents a share before the acquisition was denied.

The Truth Comes Out

George Strouthopoulos, chairman and CEO of ICOA, told us the press release was a hoax.

"We are investigating the source, so far it originated from Aruba," Strouthopoulos said. "This is not true. Never had any discussions with any potential acquirers! This is absolutely false!"

"Someone, I guess a stock promoter with a dubious interest, is disseminating wrong, false and misleading info in the PR circles. ICOA will report this to the proper authorities."

Who Is ICOA?

ICOA, Inc. (www.icoacorp.com) is based in Warwick, Rhode Island. The company's website says that as of 2006, it owned or operated broadband access installations in high-traffic locations like airports and hotels across 45 states, also providing back-office solutions for hotspot operators and wireless service providers.

However, the most recent press release on ICOA's site was from December 2010, indicating the company has not been very active in recent years, at least on the PR front. Thus, it's rather ironic that a bogus press release would put the company at the top of today's tech and business news.

Questions still remain at this hour as to who issued the phony news release and whether it was done intentionally to manipulate the near-zero price of the company's stock.
 

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:



Salesforce.com is the market and technology leader in Software-as-a-Service. Its award-winning CRM solution helps 82,400 customers worldwide manage and share business information over the Internet. Experience CRM success. Click here for a FREE 30-day trial.


 Business Briefing
1.   VMware Buys CloudVolumes' V-Apps
2.   Google Buys Contextual Image Startup
3.   Google IPO Began Decade of Big Bets
4.   FBI Cybersquad To Add Agents
5.   Pre-IPO Alibaba Has Accounting Woes


advertisement
Sprint Dumps T-Mobile Merger
Looks to the future with new chief exec.
Average Rating:
Get Up! Experts Say Move It or Lose It
Sitting deemed a dangerous activity.
Average Rating:
China Puts Microsoft Under the Lens
Official anti-monopoly probe launched.
Average Rating:


advertisement
Product Information and Resources for Technology You Can Use To Boost Your Business

Network Security Spotlight
UPS Stores in 24 States Hit by Data Breach
Big Brown has been breached. UPS said that about 105,000 customer transactions at 51 of its UPS Store locations in 24 states could have been compromised between January and August.
 
Cost of Target Data Breach: $148 Million Plus Loss of Trust
The now infamous Target data breach is still costing the company -- and its shareholders -- plenty. In fact, the retailing giant forecast the December 2013 incident cost shareholders $148 million.
 
Aruba Networks Handles Black Hat with Aplomb
It's not an easy job. Aruba Networks' task throughout the Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas this month was to ensure thousands of attendees could connect without malicious attacks.
 

Enterprise Hardware Spotlight
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 
Three New Lenovo PCs Aimed at Business Users
Businesses everywhere want computing solutions that do more for less money, and Lenovo has unveiled three new desktop PCs that offer solid computing at a budget-minded price.
 
Aruba Networks Handles Black Hat with Aplomb
It's not an easy job. Aruba Networks' task throughout the Black Hat USA conference in Las Vegas this month was to ensure thousands of attendees could connect without malicious attacks.
 

Mobile Technology Spotlight
Google Glass Adds Voice Access to Phone Contacts
The latest update to Google Glass will let users access their top 20 phone contacts with voice commands alone. A user can then choose a phone call, Google hangouts, e-mail or text messaging.
 
Samsung, B&N Target Amazon with Nook Tablet
They've seen the enemy and it is Amazon. So Samsung and Barnes & Noble are teaming up to combat their common foe with a 7-inch tablet that blends Samsung’s tech, Nook’s content and e-reader platform.
 
Acer's New Desktop Box Rides the Chrome OS Wave
Filling out its Chrome OS line, Acer is following the introduction of a larger Chromebook line earlier this month with a new tiny $180 desktop Chromebox and also a smaller Chromebook.
 

Navigation
NewsFactor Business
Home/Top News | Business Briefing | Mobile Industry News | Small Business | Business Intelligence | Innovation | E-Commerce | Press Releases
NewsFactor Network Enterprise I.T. Sites
NewsFactor Technology News | Enterprise Security Today | CRM Daily

NewsFactor Business and Innovation Sites
Sci-Tech Today | NewsFactor Business Report

NewsFactor Services
FreeNewsFeed | Free Newsletters

About NewsFactor Network | How To Contact Us | Article Reprints | Careers @ NewsFactor | Services for PR Pros | Top Tech Wire | How To Advertise

Privacy Policy | Terms of Service
© Copyright 2000-2014 NewsFactor Network. All rights reserved. Article rating technology by Blogowogo. Member of Accuserve Ad Network.