A prankster definitely played a game with CNN Monday, circulating a false Web news page claiming Microsoft Corp. had agreed to buy the video game unit from troubled French media outlet Vivendi-Universal.
The fake Web site, made up to look just like a CNN news page complete with ads and CNN links, reportedly was traced to a Web server at Purdue University in Indiana. It was dismantled at about 4 p.m. eastern time.
The university has identified a student in connection with the site, and it is now considering disciplinary action, according to reports.
Microsoft, meanwhile, issued a statement refuting the bogus story. While reports of a possible deal to buy the Vivendi gaming unit have circulated for weeks, the software giant's policy is not to comment on such rumors.
"Any purported press release or news story appearing on a Web site is a hoax," Microsoft said.