Wednesday, 11 October 2017 09:10

Google buys Apple: fake news, courtesy of Dow Jones Featured

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A "technical error" has been blamed by Dow Jones for a story that was issued on its news wires overnight, saying that Google was buying Apple – and for a relatively paltry sum of US$9 billion.

The Apple stock rose US$2 on the publication, rising to US$158, before settling back to US$156 after Dow Jones issued the correction.

The Apple-centric site 9to5mac was the first to break the news.

The story claimed that the late Steve Jobs had made a deal with Alphabet chief executive Larry Page before the former died in 2010.

The deal was said to have been announced at the time when Jobs' will was made public.

What made the story even more unbelievable was that it claimed that the deal was due to close on Wednesday US time.

"The deal... gives each Google shareholder nine shares of Apple stock. Obviously Google will move into Apple's fancy headquarters," the story, bylined with the name Josee Rose, said.

It ended with the claim that "Google employees said 'Yay'."

A day trader based in Berlin, going by the Twitter handle Trader_53, also spotted that this was not the only glitch on the day.

Numerous others, like "Practice Headline 3, Still on Wednesday" were seen in a screenshot of the feed which he tweeted.

Dow Jones later apologised for the error.

“Please disregard the headlines that ran on Dow Jones Newswires between 9:34am ET and 9:36am ET," the company said.

"Due to a technical error, the headlines were published. All of those headlines are being removed from the wires. We apologise for the error.”

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Sam Varghese

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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