PRWeb, the press-release service that posted a fake press release about Google acquiring a wireless company called ICOA for $400 million, has explained what happened.
Here’s the statement PRWeb posted:
PRWeb transmitted a press release for ICOA that we have since learned was fraudulent. The release was not issued or authorised by ICOA. Vocus reviews all press releases and follows an internal process designed to maintain the integrity of the releases we send out every day. Even with reasonable safeguards identity theft occurs, on occasion, across all of the major wire services. We have removed the fraudulent release and turned the matter over to the proper authorities for further investigation.
The Associated Press and a host of other publications, including Business Insider, picked up the press release and treated it as news.
ICOA’s shares trade over the counter. A theory floated to explain the hoax is that someone was trying to manipulate the company’s stock
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