It's like April Fool's, only two weeks later.
That Associated Press has had to retract a story on GE repaying all of its 2010 tax refund after it was determined the press release it based its story on was a hoax.
Here is the original story that the AP put out on the wire:
Facing criticism over the amount of taxes it pays, General Electric announced it will repay its entire $3.2 billion tax refund to the US Treasury on April 18.
GE uses a series of foreign tax havens that the company says are legal and that led to an enormous refund for the 2010 tax year.
The company earned $11 billion in 2010 on revenue of $150 billion.
The company, based in Fairfield, Conn., plans to phase out tax havens over 5 years and said it will create one job in the US for each new job it creates overseas.
Here is what has now replaced it:
The fake press release was titled, "GE Responds to Public Outcry – Will Donate Entire $3.2 Billion Tax Refund to Help Offset Cuts and Save American Jobs." And while initially this looks really bad for the AP, Business Insider explains how it happened:
The fake press release [...] was posted at a site called http://www.genewscenters.com/. It's a pretty sophisticated fake, since genewscenters.com is just one letter off from genewscenter.com, where GE actually hosts its news.
And it is. Here's a copy of real GE press release:
And this is the fake:
Still, BI says the AP isn't completely off the hook given that the fake "obviously" reads like a hoax, including "comments in there about new policies about creating one American job for every one created abroad."