September 26, 2022

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Millions fined to news agency after fake press release caused Vinci stake to drop |  Abroad

Millions fined to news agency after fake press release caused Vinci stake to drop | Abroad

The US news agency Bloomberg was also sentenced on appeal in Paris after it wrote a letter in 2016 based on a false press release from Vinci, after which the French construction company’s stake took a heavy blow. The fine on appeal was reduced from 5 to 3 million euros.




In November 2016, Bloomberg was the first medium to break the news, based on the false press release, stating that Vinci had fired its chief financial officer after widespread accounting errors.

The editors soon realized that the press release was fake and within 10 minutes Bloomberg corrected the report. Soon, the Yenshi Corporation announced that the message was incorrect. But in the meantime, Yenshi’s stake has taken a hit of more than 18 per cent on the Paris Stock Exchange. It recovered after that and ended the day in the red with 3.78 per cent. The French stock exchange watchdog AMF ruled that investors suffered €6.5 million in damages.


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Our journalists only covered what appeared to be newsworthy information and fell victim to a sophisticated hoax.

Bloomberg

The FSA had fined Bloomberg €5 million at the end of 2019, which the agency appealed. The appellate court maintains that the journalists should have known that the press release was fake, but it took into account prompt corrections and thus reduced the fine.

Investigations failed to find out who posted the fake press release online. The authors used a website (vinci.group) that was very similar to the real Vinci (vinci.com). They also used the name of the real spokesperson for Yenshi, along with a fake phone number.

“Our journalists only covered what appeared to be newsworthy information and fell victim to a sophisticated hoax,” Bloomberg said. “We are disappointed that the court did not reject the previous decision and we are reviewing our options for appeal.”

Other news agencies and media outlets have also been caught with the false information, but only Bloomberg has been fined.

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