Bloomberg News published a fake press release back in 2016, and now France’s markets watchdog AMF is fining it $5.5 million.
Bloomberg fell for the fake press release about construction company Vinci. After the fake news, Vinci temporarily saw an 18% dip in the value of its shares, according to Reuters. “A fine against a media group is unusual for the AMF, which regulates participants and products on financial markets,” Reuters explained.
According to the Agence France Press wire service, the fake press release was published on a “so-called mirror sit” and had the wrong phone number listed for media contacts, but otherwise was “almost indistinguishable from a normal press release from the group.”
“We regret that the AMF did not find and punish the perpetrator of the hoax, and chose instead to penalize a media outlet that was doing its very best to report on what appeared to be newsworthy information,” Bloomberg told Reuters.
iMediaEthics wrote to Bloomberg for more information but didn’t hear back.