For two very surreal minutes, mountains moved, tides changed, and the natural order of everything in the tech world was thrown totally out of whack: The Dow Jones newswire falsely reported that Google had purchased Apple for a measly $9 billion.
$GOOG $AAPL by Dow Jones… I guess you guys have some explaining to do pic.twitter.com/402KaCcQJz
— Trader 53 (@trader_53) October 10, 2017
The wire service shared headlines that claimed Google and Apple had agreed to terms for a sale, according to 9to5Mac, which first spotted the fake news report.
Dow Jones quickly wiped the fake headlines from the wire shortly after noticing the mistake. But that didn’t stop Apple’s stock price from momentarily jumping from $156 to $158, likely the result of trader bots that couldn’t tell that the deal was bogus.
The fabricated details behind the fake news report make the whole debacle even more entertaining.
The fake news report said the deal was prearranged as part of Steve Jobs’ will (obviously hilarious) and the result of secret talks with Alphabet CEO and Google co-founder Larry Page before his death.
That’s not all. The fake news report also said that Google’s staff would be forced to move into “Apple’s fancy headquarters” at 1 Infinite Loop. The fake report elaborated, falsely saying that Google employees responded to the news by saying, “Yay.”
Dow Jones issued a correction shortly after pulling the fake news. The company also apologized and blamed the story on a “technical error.”
So for now, we won’t see Apple’s AirPods with Google’s translation tech or the death of Apple Maps anytime soon — but we can at least laugh at the fake story and dream of the possibilities anyway.
UPDATE: Oct. 10, 2017, 3:58 p.m. EDT Dow Jones sent Mashable the following statement:
Dow Jones regrets the erroneous headlines published on its Dow Jones Newswires this morning between 9:34 and 9:36 A.M. ET.
The items, which were never intended for publication, were accidentally published as part of a technology test.
“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,” said Dow Jones CEO William Lewis.