Reports that Google acquired Internet service provider ICOA Inc. for $400 million Monday morning appear to be unfounded: A Google spokesperson tells Mashable that it has not acquired the Internet service provider, and did not issue or approve the press release making the announcement.
ICOA, which is headquartered in Warwick, R.I., installs and operates Wi-Fi in high-density public locations — think airports, hotels, etc. — in 40 states. It powers hotspots for well-known providers like Boingo, frequently found at U.S. airports, as well as several hundred Panera Bread locations.
Uncharacteristically, Google had little to say about its reasons for acquiring ICOA in the falsified press release — only that it was part of a plan to “further diversify it’s… portfolio of companies.” Perhaps that should have been the tip-off.
It’s unclear who issued the release and for what reason. ICOA could not be reached immediately for clarification.
UPDATE: ICOA CEO George Strouthopoulos confirmed in an e-mail to Mashable that ICOA did not issue the press release and, like us, is trying to track the original source, which he says “originated from Aruba.”
“Someone, I guess a stock promoter with a dubious interest, is disseminating wrong, false and misleading info in the PR circles,” he added.
Image via iStock, Hillary Fox