Google has not acquired ICOA Wireless as an early Monday morning press release originally claimed. Trading volumes at both companies increased on Monday upon news that Google had forked over $400 million to purchase the large-scale nationwide braodband Wi-Fi network.
Following a press release by PR Web, which has since been pulled, both companies openly denied the acquisition.
Speaking to AllThingsD, ICOA chief financial officer Erwin Vahlsing said the acquisition is “false” while CEO George Strouthopoulous added:
“Never had any discussions with any potential acquirers!! This is absolutely false!”
Google also confirmed that it had not been in talks with ICOA and has not spent $400 million to purchase the Wi-Fi network.
Both companies are not sure who issued the PRWeb press release, although it has been suggested that “a stock promoter with a dubious interest.”
According to Electronista:
“Promoting a stock that does not see much in the way of trading action on a day that is considered to have less news than usual due to sales and Thanksgiving would artificially raise the value of the stock, albeit temporarily, and would earn those that knew about it ahead of time a decent sum all for the cost of a well-timed and cheap to circulate press release.”
With trading fraud a real possibility, it is likely that federal officials will launch an investigation into trading irregularities.
If nothing else, this fake news story has provided ICOA with a public presence the company never had before news of the Google acquisition was reported.