ICOA CEO says never had acquisition talks with Google

Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:57pm EST
 

By Alexei Oreskovic

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

"ICOA never had any discussions with any major company like Google," George Strouthopoulos, the company's chief executive and chairman, said in an email.

"Someone, I guess a stock promoter with a dubious interest, is disseminating wrong, false and misleading info in the PR circles," 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 Google had bought the company. 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 owned by Vocus Inc and which published the item, said in a statement that it has removed the "fraudulent" release and turned the matter over to authorities.

"Vocus reviews all press releases and follows an internal process designed to maintain the integrity of the releases we send out every day," the company said. "Even with reasonable safeguards identity theft occurs, on occasion, across all of the major wire services."

Google declined to comment.   Continued...