A fake news story about an acquisition of Twitter briefly led to a 7% spike of the company’s stock Tuesday. Stock briefly reached a high of $38.33 a share, only to settle down again at slightly below $37 after the story had been confirmed false.
Twitter’s stock surged around 11:35 a.m. ET after a supposed Bloomberg story titled “Twitter Attracts Suitors” made the rounds. The story alleged that Twitter was working with bankers to facilitate an acquisition for $31 billion. Both Google as well as “an unnamed foreign buyer” were mentioned as possible suitors, and the story even featured the obligatory note that “both Twitter and Google couldn’t be reached for comment.”
However, the article wasn’t actually hosted on Bloomberg’s website, but on a site built to look exactly like Bloomberg.com, hosted under the Web address Bloomberg.market. That domain was registered last week using WhoisGuard, a company that allows companies and individuals to register domain names without revealing their own personal information, making it hard to figure out who set up the site.
Bloomberg.market also used large parts of Bloomberg’s original website code, even loading images and other components directly from Bloomberg.com. However, Bloomberg as well as Twitter have since confirmed that the story is fake.