(Newsroom America) -- Microsoft announced it is pulling out of its joint MSNBC.com venture, leaving the software giant free to create its own online news presence.
The dissolution, which was finalized late Sunday, breaks up the final strands of a 16-year relationship between Microsoft Corp. and NBC News, the latter of which is currently owned by Comcast.
The partnership began to unravel in 2005 after Microsoft sold its share in MSNBC's cable TV channel to NBC.
To finalize the deal, NBC said it will be purchasing Microsoft's 50-percent stake in the MSNBC.com site for an undisclosed figure, reports said.
Meanwhile, MSNBC.com will be rebranded as NBCNews.com; visitors to the site who logged onto MSNBC.com late Sunday were in turn redirected to NBCNews.com
The Web site will move from Microsoft's corporate campus at Redmond, Wash., to NBC's longtime headquarters in New York City.
Part of the problem with the relationship stemmed from MSNBC's decision to orient its television cable news coverage to attract liberal viewers, a strategy aimed at countering Fox News' largely conservative slant, reports said.
Microsoft was required to carry MSNBC.com content exclusively on its Web sites, and the company was concerned about a perception that online content was also politically slanted, The Associated Press reported.
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