Microsoft, NBC End Website Partnership

The breakup announced late Sunday dissolves MSNBC.com, the final shred of a 16-year marriage between Microsoft Corp. and NBC News, which is now owned by Comcast Corp. The relationship began to unwind in 2005 when Microsoft sold its stake in MSNBC's cable TV channel to NBC.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

NPR's business news starts with Microsoft's moves in the news business.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

INSKEEP: Microsoft is making headlines this morning. The software company is no longer part of the joint venture that owned MSNBC.com. That breakup leaves it free to start its own online news service. NBC's owner, Comcast, bought out Microsoft's 50-percent interest in MSNBC, though there's no word on what it paid. So as of today, MSNBC.com is now NBCNews.com. The split after a 16-year marriage was expected for a long time and was officially announced late last night.

Microsoft plans to be an online news competitor of NBC by this fall.

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