Shares of Twitter (TWTR) spiked by roughly 8% on Tuesday amid a Bloomberg report that it had received a buyout offer worth $31 billion — a roughly 35% premium to Monday’s closing price.
Except there was no Bloomberg report. Not really.
The report was a hoax hosted on a fake page made to look exactly like Bloomberg, but it lived on Bloomberg.market, not Bloomberg.com.
Twitter quickly denied the information in the report, and Bloomberg denied having written the report. Within a matter of minutes, TWTR shares fell back to their more modest gains for the day.
The report was quickly identified as a fake, though the source is yet unknown. However, per CNBC:
“The bloomberg.market domain was registered on Friday by an individual who listed an address in Panama, according to ICANN, which oversees Internet domain databases.”
Still, it’s no surprise that some investors were quick to pounce (and not just because of the convincing production job).
Twitter stock holders have been looking for something positive to clutch onto for months. While shares are up 3% so far this year, that has come on a dramatic rise and fall that has seen Twitter stock drop some 30% since its April peak. That decline came on an accidental early release of first-quarter figures — specifically, revenues that fell well below the bar.
Since then, Twitter has been the subject of some loose M&A speculation, making it an apt target for this trick.