Mark Leslie Lefebvre, the Director of Self-Publishing & Author Relations at Kobo, had no idea where this rumor came from. It didn't sound like any Kobo program he'd heard of.
I read the story about an hour ago and if I was a cartoon character you'd likely have seen giant question marks floating above my head. I have no idea where the heck the info came from.
The explicit denial came from Ashleigh Gardner, the Director of Content Management at Kobo. She denied all parts of the story. According to her, it wasn't even partially true. I would say that is pretty conclusive, wouldn't you?
The head of Kobo's self-pub program and the head of content management should have at least heard of the supposed program. Since one has not, and the other denies the story, I don't think there's any truth to it.