Widespread reports that Google acquired Wi-Fi hotspot specialist ICOA are false, according to both companies, who sent statements to various media outlets denying the $400 million acquisition occurred.
Numerous news outlets, including CRN, reported earlier Monday that Google had picked up Warwick, R.I.-based ICOA, a provider of Wi-Fi hotspot and broadband services for airports, restaurants and other customers across 45 U.S. states. What appeared to be a vaguely-worded press release was posted to PRWeb earlier in the day, and TechCrunch was first to post a story.
Google sources told several of those outlets, including AllThingsD and Forbes, that it has not bought ICOA.
ICOA CEO George Strouthopoulos and other ICOA executives also sent emailed statements to several news sites stating the reports are "absolutely false." Strouthopoulos told The Wall Street Journal that ICOA plans to report the incident to authorities and that ICOA has not had any M&A discussions. The Journal added that ICOA CFO Erwin Vahlsing Jr. contacted the Securities and Exchange Commission to halt trading of ICOA's stock.
AllThingsD also reported a statement from Strouthopoulos saying: "We are investigating the source, so far it originated from Aruba!"
Google has not responded to a CRN request for additional comment.
PUBLISHED NOV. 26, 2012