Google buys Wi-Fi provider ICOA for $400 million

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Associated Press

Posted on November 26, 2012 at 10:02 AM

Updated Monday, Nov 26 at 10:02 AM

NEW YORK (AP) — Google has bought an operator of Wi-Fi hotspots in high-traffic locations such as airports, hotels and fast-food restaurants.

Google Inc. is paying $400 million for ICOA Inc., a Warwick, R.I., company, as part of the search company's efforts to diversify its portfolio.

ICOA owns or operates Wi-Fi wireless access services in 40 states. It also sells technology for others to run similar Wi-Fi networks under their own brands.

It's not Google's first venture into Internet access. The Mountain View, Calif., company is building an ultra-fast wired Internet service in Kansas City, primarily to showcase for what's technically possible and to test new ways to use the Internet.

Shares of Google fell $6.07, or 0.9 percent, to $661.90 in morning trading Monday.

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