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NBC News Takes Full Control of MSNBC.com

Date July 16, 2012

NBC News has rebranded MSNBC.com as NBCNews.com after acquiring full control of the site from Microsoft Corp.

The breakup, announced late Sunday, ends a 16-year, 50-50 joint venture between the Comcast Corp.-owned NBC News and Mircosoft Corp., which began to sour in 2005 when Microsoft sold its stake in MSNBC's cable TV channel to NBC. The dissolution was a result of the two parties' wish to have complete control over their digital content.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, and details of the arrangement are still being worked out, NBC News said. MSNBC.com automatically redirected visitors to NBCNews.com late Sunday and will be fully rebranded shortly. The site will become part of NBC News Digital, led by Vivian Schiller, NBC News' chief digital officer.

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"There is no question that we are going to have more flexibility to make our own decisions," Schiller said. "This is really an amicable breakup. We think competition will make us better."

Microsoft, which under the deal was required to exclusively feature MSNBC.com content on its own websites, will launch its own news service in the fall. Moving on "allows us to go out and innovate," Bob Visse, general manager of MSN.com, said.

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