Heavy fine to Bloomberg for spreading false news

The news agency Bloomberg was fined Monday five million euros by the gendarme of the Paris Bourse, for having disseminated in 2016 without verifying false information that had lowered the price of Vinci.

The financial agency, which exerts a great influence on the trading rooms, had taken again the contents of a false press release according to which the group of BTP launched a revision of its accounts following irregularities “very serious” and dismissed its chief financial officer, recalls in a press release the Autorité des Marchés Financiers (AMF).

The representative of the college of the AMF had requested this fine on November 15 before the sanctions commission of the stock market policeman, and was therefore followed up. Bloomberg has announced its intention to appeal.

The Sanctions Commission estimated that the dissemination of this false information, which had made the Vinci share price fall by 18.28%, “was not preceded by any verification by the journalists of the” Speed ​​Desk “” Bloomberg when they were “reporting information of great gravity, suggesting a sudden and immediate fall in the market price.”

Vinci had at the time quickly denied and then filed a complaint “against X” with the National Financial Prosecutor’s Office for acts of “dissemination of false information likely to act on the courts”, “swindle in an organized gang” and “counterfeiting of work by the ‘spirit’.

Bloomberg calls himself “victim”

Bloomberg regrets for his part “that the AMF did not identify and repress the authors of this“ hoax ”(intoxication) and that it chose to sanction a media making its best efforts to report on what seemed to be a information of interest ”.

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The AMF, on the other hand, held that the “rules or codes governing the profession of journalist” were “not respected by the company Bloomberg LP in the absence of verification of the information prior to their publication”.

For the stock market gendarme, “the protection enjoyed by journalists is subject to the condition that they act in good faith so as to provide accurate and creditworthy information”.

According to the AMF, Bloomberg is guilty of “distributing false information through the media that fixes or is likely to set the price of a security at an abnormal or artificial level”.

“We deplore the decision made today by the AMF Sanctions Commission, which disregards the vital role that the press plays in a democratic society,” added the news agency. She calls herself “victim of this sophisticated hoax”, “in the same way as the targeted company”.

The fraudulent press release had also been received by AFP, which had not followed up after realizing that this document had been posted on a mirror website, very similar to the real site, but with a separate address ( vinci.group and not vinci.com). This press release had even been signed with the name of the real press relations manager at Vinci, while referring to a false mobile phone number.

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