No, Google hasn’t “acquired” Apple — despite what recent Dow Jones headlines might have briefly told you this morning.
Around 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time on Monday, the Dow Jones began to publish erroneous headlines about the Mountain View-based company buying Apple to its newswire. The fake headlines were first spotted by several traders on Twitter Monday morning. The business news publication has since apologized and is blaming the fake headlines on a “technical error.”
Google buying Apple is already a far-fetched proposition, but some of the headlines were even more bizarre. One of them read “Google to buy Apple for $9 billion,” which would be quite the bargain as Apple is currently worth around $750 billion. Another suggested that Steve Jobs approved of the acquisition in his will and that each Google shareholder would receive nine shares of Apple stock. Amusingly, one headline simply stated “Google Says Yay.”
“Google Will Takeover Apple Headquarters,” said one newswire headline, while another said that the deal was expected to close tomorrow. While the headlines received the most scrutiny, they led to at least one fake news story. “In a surprise move to everyone who is alive, Google said it’s going to buy Apple for $9 billion,” the story read, according to a screen capture posted to Twitter.
Obviously, these reports are fake — but you probably already knew that. Thankfully, shares of either company didn’t seem to be significantly affected Monday. Apple shares did briefly jump to $158 before returning to normal, likely only because computer algorithms detected the fake headlines. Presumably, real people familiar with the tech industry or the stock market would have recognized that Google buying Apple for a cool $9 billion is impossible.
“Please disregard the headlines that ran on Dow Jones Newswires between 9:34 a.m. ET and 9:36 a.m. ET,” Dow Jones said in a statement. “Due to a technical error, the headlines were published. All of those headlines are being removed from the wires. We apologize for the error.”