Reuters reports that the recent $400 million Wi-Fi deal that Google was supposed to sign with ICOA, a company in Warwick that produces Wi-Fi spots for public areas, was in fact a hoax. An investigation is now carried out in order to determine who is responsible for the fake press release published on PRWeb.
The news that Google was about to make a new acquisition spread like wildfire on early Monday morning as nobody took the time to verify the truthfulness of the press release. According to the information presented on PRWeb, Google was supposed to purchase the Wi-Fi provider ICOA based on a $400 million deal.
Knowing that ICOA is specialized in delivering Wi-Fi services in public areas like parks and airports, analysts were expecting a big surprise from Google. Unfortunately, their expectations have not been met as the CEOs of the two companies told the media that the press release is not true. “This was a hoax,” was the official declaration of George Strouthopoulos, CEO of ICOA.
Strouthopoulos further added that the company will carry out an investigation within the following days to determine who is responsible for the fake information released on the website. Despite their good intentions, analysts have many reasons to blame ICOA for the hoax. ICOA has a total market capital of less than $850,000, which is why its shares are sold for less than a penny. The company was even removed from NASDAQ because they refused to provide financial reports for three out of eight quarters.
As if ICOA’s troubled finances were not enough to cause suspicions, the fake press release contained a series of grammar and punctuation mistakes. Websites that took over the press release claim they didn’t pay too much attention to the mistakes because the announcement appeared to be “the kind of deal Google would make”. In addition the Internet giant declared on numerous occasions that they plan to provide free Wi-Fi service in various public places.