Communication staffers at Office Depot are likely nursing their wounds today after a press release mentioning the retailer’s merger with OfficeMax briefly appeared on the Office Depot website, according to The New York Times
At the time the release appeared early Wednesday morning, the deal was not final; however, news outlets are now reporting that the office supply retailers have reached a deal. The Wall Street Journal first reported on Monday that OfficeMax and Office Depot were in talks to merge.
The premature news of the merger showed up in an earnings release on Office Depot’s website—on page four of the release, in fact—but was quickly removed, according to the Times
. The release was reportedly a draft. Media outlets began reporting on the merger after spotting the news, lifting shares in the companies during premarket trading.
Perhaps the stock boost provided mercy for the person responsible for the release. As Brigid Sweeney, a retail and advertising reporter at Crain’s Chicago Business, noted on Twitter this morning:
If that is the case, the Office Depot PR person wouldn’t be alone. Last October, for instance, Google’s disappointing third-quarter earnings report leaked early in a draft press release
, pushing the company’s stock price down until Nasdaq halted trading. Although Google CEO Larry Page apologized for the incident, the financial printer RR Donnelley took the blame.