Dow Jones has blamed a "technical error" for a series of fake news headlines on Tuesday morning which claimed that Google was acquiring Apple for the bargain price of $9 billion.
According to one of the Dow Jones stories, posted by 9to5Mac, the incredible deal was sealed by now deceased Steve Jobs in 2010 and will be closed tomorrow. The fantasy deal "gives each Google shareholder nine shares of Apple stock...Google employees said, "Yay."".
Dow Jones has since put out a statement saying that the bizarre, now removed, headlines were the result of a "technical error".
It's unclear whether the issue affected share prices. While the implausible nature of the $9 billion price tag may have been a red flag to human traders, Apple did briefly see its stock rise to $158 before settling back down to around $156, raising the possibility that some algos were fooled.