A report by the Dow Jones newswire overnight claimed Google was set to acquire Apple for US$9 billion, momentarily causing Apple stock to jump and no doubt left investors scratching their heads.

The Dow Jones pushed out several spurious stories about the deal which reported the takeover was pre-arranged with Steve Jobs in his will.

The gist of the reports was that Google co-founder Larry Page and Steve Jobs began discussing an acquisition back in 2010. Apparently the late Steve Jobs outlined the plan in his will, which dictated the sale would close tomorrow.

Other details in the bizarre story included news that Google would get nine Apple shares for each Google share and the employees of the search giant would take over the new Apple headquarters. It even included a line saying: "Google employees said, 'Yay'."


Of course it was all fake news. But it did prompt a slight spike in Apple's share price, due to bots, or automatic computer algorithms buying up the share as most humans wouldn't have believed the story to be legitimate.

Some Dow Jones followers initially thought the newswire might have been hacked but it appears a "technical glitch" was to blame for the newswire's algorithms getting a bit muddled up.

The company issued a statement to dedicated Apple site 9to5Mac, which first reported on the drama.

"Please disregard the headlines that ran on Dow Jones Newswires between 9:34AM ET and 9:36AM ET," it said. "Due to a technical error, the headlines were published. All of those headlines are being removed from the wires. We apologise for the error."