Home Deals Google buys Apple: fake news, courtesy of Dow Jones

Google buys Apple: fake news, courtesy of Dow Jones

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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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.