Microsoft and NBC officially call it quits

The software giant will reportedly receive $300 million for its stake in MSNBC.com, which will mirror content on the new NBCNews.com for a while.

Screenshot by CNET

The Internet partnership of Microsoft and NBC is officially over.

NBC News announced this evening that it had acquired full control of MSNBC.com from the software giant and was rebranding the site as NBCNews.com. NBC will continue to provide news content to MSN.com, a Microsoft news portal, which will reciprocate by sending traffic back to the network, NBC said.

For the short term, MSNBC.com will mirror the home page of NBCNews.com and eventually become the address of MSNBC TV.

"It'll have a new name and a new URL, but everything else will be the same," Charlie Tillinghast, the site's president and publisher, told an NBC reporter in a news story announcing the deal.

Financial terms of the deal, which was announced on the 16th anniversary of the site's launch, were not revealed. People with knowledge of the transaction told The New York Times that Microsoft will receive about $300 million for its stake.

The acquisition ends the 16-year, 50-50 joint venture of Microsoft and Comcast-owned NBCUniversal to operate MSNBC.com, which is one of the country's top news sites with 55.7 million visitors earlier this year.

Microsoft originally invested $220 million for a 50 percent stake in MSNBC, which launched in 1996. The software giant sold most of its control in 2005, leaving NBC with an 82 percent stake in the network and an option of claiming the remaining 18 percent after two years.

 

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