The Dow Jones newswire reported some mind-blowing news this morning: Google is acquiring Apple for the relatively paltry price of $9 billion, thanks to an agreement revealed in Steve Jobs’ will. But the news—and the multiple alerts that the newswire blasted out—were bogus.
“In a surprise move to anyone who is alive, Google said it’s going to buy Apple for $9 billion,” read a report by Josee Rose. “Google Chief Executive Larry Page had secret talks with the now-deceased Steve Jobs in 2010 to firm up the deal... Obviously Google will move into Apple’s fancy headquarters. Google employees said, ‘Yay’”
The story was originally reported by 9to5Mac after traders began sharing the strange news alerts on Twitter. Since the news was very obviously fake, the incident does not seem to have made much of an impact on the market, other than Apple’s stock price briefly going up to $158, according to 9to5Mac. This blip was likely due to automatic trading algorithms.
A Dow Jones spokesperson told Gizmodo the firm is conducting an internal review of the incident. “Please disregard the headlines that ran on Dow Jones Newswires between 9:34 a.m. ET and 9:36 a.m. ET. Due to a technical error, a stream of test data was inadvertently published,” the spokesperson said, in a statement. “All of those headlines are being removed from the wires. We apologize for the error.”
Many followers assumed Dow Jones had been hacked, especially the firm also sent out several test alerts prior to the Google news. But Dow Jones director of communications Steve Severinghauss told Gizmodo, “We absolutely were not hacked.”
Update 5:00 pm:
A Dow Jones spokesperson told Gizmodo that the erroneous headlines published this morning “were accidentally published as part of a technology test” and “were never intended for publication.”
William Lewis, CEO of Dow Jones and publisher of The Wall Street Journal, shared the following statement with Gizmodo:
I take today’s inadvertent and erroneous publication of testing materials extremely seriously. While immediate corrective action has been taken, I have also ordered a review of news and technology processes in this area.