updated 05:54 am EDT, Fri October 11, 2013
Unauthorised press release stated Samsung acquiring Swedish company
In the wake of Apple's successful iPhone 5s launch, which included the debut of Touch ID, an apparently false press release has been issued without authority by Cision, a press agency. The press release originally claimed that Samsung had acquired Swedish company Fingerprint Cards AB for $650 million. Cision says that it is currently investigating how the press release came to be published. The release claimed that Fingerprint Cards AB was to become the Samsung Fingerprint Cards Division, with the current CEO Johan Carlström to become the new division president.
Fingerprint Cards AB develops and produces biometric components and technology that, like Apple's Touch ID, analyses and matches an individual's fingerprint to verify a device owner's identity. The press release even included purported quotes from the two companies:
"Swipe sensor technology is phenomenal in every way and are [sic] going to be loved by millions of people around the world," Samsung CEO Kwon Oh-hyun, was reported as saying. "Together we will create the future," he was said to have added. "Fingerprints Cards [sic] and Samsung share the vision of bringing products to our customers," the release claimed Johan Carlström said. "Together, we will be able to accelerate Samsung's plans," was published as stating.
The origin of the press release is likely to draw the attention of regulatory authorities in both Sweden and South Korea, as it is has all the hallmarks of an attempt at stock manipulation or an attempt to manipulate possible negotiations that may or may not be taking place between the two companies. The press release seemed plausible, as reviews of the iPhone 5s have all praised the Touch ID finger print scanner built into the Home button of Apple latest flagship handset. Fingerprint Card AB shares had spiked 50 percent on the news.
The technology Apple implemented to create the Touch ID was accelerated with its acquisition of Authentec, a Florida-based company, in July last year for $356 million. While fingerprint authentication technology is not new, it has not previously been implemented successfully in a smartphone until Apple rolled out the iPhone 5s last month. It is not known if Samsung is working on bringing fingerprint authentication to its smartphones, though HTC is widely expected to introduce the technology in its forthcoming HTC One Max. [via Engadget]
Fingerprint Cards AB has issued a statement saying "what has happened will be reported to the police and to the Swedish Financial Supervisory Authority," and that it had suspended trading of its shares.