It's a Hoax! Google Not Buying ICOA: ICOA CEO

Monday, 26 Nov 2012 | 2:47 PM ET
Kimihiro Hoshino | AFP | Getty Images

The chief executive of wireless hotspot provider ICOA said his company has never had acquisition talks with Google and is contacting authorities about a "hoax" press release on Monday that said Google acquired his company for $400 million.

"ICOA never had any discussions with any major company like Google," said ICOA CEO and Chairman George Strouthopoulos in an email on Monday.

"Someone, I guess a stock promoter with a dubious interest, is disse

minating wrong, false and misleading info in the PR fcircles," he said.

Shares of ICOA, which is traded over-the-counter, jumped from .0001 cents to .0005 cents on Monday after a short, two-paragraph press release was circulated stating that the company had been acquired by Google. Shares of ICOA have since fallen back to .0001 cents.

The supposed acquisition was reported by several news outlets including the Associated Press and popular technology blogs such as TechCrunch.

PRWeb, a service for publishing press releases which is owned by Vocus Inc and which published the item, did not return messages seeking comment. Google declined to comment.

ICOA's Strouthopoulos said the company planned to report the event to "the proper authorities," including the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.

"We are investigating the source, so far it originated from Aruba," Strouthopoulos said, without elaborating.

The SEC declined to comment.

Google shares were down $3.96 at $664.01 in midday trading on Monday.

email: tech@cnbc.com


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