A satire article claiming that Microsoft has bought Sony for $130 billion has gone viral with some media outlets reporting it as true. BOOM found the original article in a Spanish website was intended to be a prank.
Industry news website exchange4media reported the news as true before quickly taking down the article. The website EN24 translated the original article in English and carried it on their website word for word.
The articles state that the deal was led by executive vice-president of Gaming at Microsoft and the head of Xbox, Phil Spencer. They go on to claim that as part of the deal, Microsoft would take over Sony's music, entertainment, gaming and cell phone businesses. They also claim that all of Sony PlayStation's games would be made available on Xbox.
The articles were shared by Twitter users who either believed the reports or were taken aback by the announcement. Some users, though, tweeted out corrections when pointed out that it was a prank.
Fact-checker Eoghan Sweeney was among the first to point out that the claim originated from a Spanish-website to celebrate the Spanish version of April Fool's Day, Día de los Inocentes.
The "Microsoft acquires Sony" stuff going around appears to have its origins in a story posted to a Spanish-language website. The story was posted on Dec 28, "Day of the Holy Innocents" in many Hispanic cultures - and celebrated with pranks similar to April Fools' Day#debunk pic.twitter.com/zYzBa8Z0mi— Eoghan Sweeney (@buileshuibhne) December 29, 2020
BOOM then found the original article on the website Microsofter, which describes itself as a website for all news about Microsoft. The Spanish headline of the article reads "Microsoft adquiere Sony con todas sus divisiones, incluyendo PlayStation" (Microsoft acquires Sony with all its divisions, including PlayStation).
We then translated the article into English. The original article ends with "¡Feliz Día de los Inocentes!" which translates to Happy Day of the Innocents. The Day of the Innocents is celebrated by Spanish-speaking countries on December 28 each year similar to April Fool's Day.
BOOM checked for announcements on Microsoft and Sony's websites but found nothing about an acquisition. Furthermore, considering Microsoft and Sony are two of the biggest brands in the world, any news of one acquiring the other would make headlines. However, we found no news reports on Microsoft buying Sony.
Updated On: 2020-12-29T22:14:10+05:30
Claim : Microsoft bought Sony for $121 billion.
Claimed By : exchange4media, Social media
Fact Check : False