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Microsoft, News Corp. invest in Web content syndication

Web content distributor iSyndicate receives $55 million in funding from an investment group that includes the software and media giants.

    Web content distributor iSyndicate said today that it received $55 million in funding from an investment group that included Microsoft and News Corp.

    Today's investment follows a funding round from NBC last month. An infusion of money last June involved InfoSpace and Vignette.

    In addition to providing cash, News Corp. said it will partner with iSyndicate to create a global news delivery service.

    iSyndicate delivers content in the form of headlines, feature articles, breaking news, graphics, animation and interactive games to more than 200,000 affiliated Web sites, including those for Citibank, Nintendo, NationsBank and Netscape.

    The San Francisco-based company pointed to the launch last week of a U.K.-based branch as evidence of its growing international reach. iSyndicate plans to launch an office in Germany in the next two to three months, according to chief executive Joel Maske.

    News Corp., which owns the Fox TV network, said in a statement that the investment "symbolizes an important content and advertising partnership" that will drive more consumers to its Fox Web sites, including FoxNews.com, FoxSports.com and Fox.com.

    Maske called today's investment a "financial milestone" toward becoming a "complete, one-stop shop" for syndicated content on the Web.

    Microsoft was not immediately available to comment.