New Delhi: A news release that said that Google had bought an operator of Wi-Fi hotspots in high-traffic locations such as airports, hotels and fast-food restaurants has turned out to be bogus.
The release said that Google was paying $400 million for ICOA, a Warwick, Rhode Island, company, as part of the search company's efforts to diversify its portfolio. ICOA owns or operates Wi-Fi wireless access services in 40 US states. It also sells technology for others to run similar WiFi networks under their own brands.
ICOA says the story is not true, and said a purported news release about the acquisition was a hoax. Google declined to comment, but a person close to Google with knowledge of the situation also said the report was not true. The person declined to be named because she wasn't authorized by Google to speak on the record, reports the Associated Press.
The release triggered reports about Google moving into wireless communications on several websites.