MSNBC.com Dissolved by Microsoft and NBC

msnbc-logo1The Chicago Tribune reports that after a 16-year-relationship, the joint venture between Microsoft and NBC is no more. The online news service MSNBC.com will now be known as NBCNews.com, and it is widely speculated that Microsoft will soon embark on its own endeavor to built a new online news service. Headquarters will move from the Microsoft property in Washington to the home of NBC in New York.

The two companies started to dissolve their venture back in 2005 when Microsoft sold its interest in MSNBC’s cable TV channel to NBC. As the future of both companies has become increasingly dependent on their online services and presence, the joint venture began to constrict rather than benefit each company. While Microsoft has continued to profit heavily in the software industry, its success in the online arena has not been so successful. It is unclear whether Microsoft’s massive investment in thie joint venture was ever profitable for Microsoft in any way. Both companies reportedly grew frustrated by exclusivity provisions in the contract terms, and, as a result, NBC has now agreed to purchase Microsoft’s 50% interest in MSNBC.com for an undisclosed amount in order to finally sever the long-standing joint venture involving the parties.

The dissolution of any business or business venture, no matter how amicable, can be complex, particularly in a massive joint venture such as the MSNBC.com venture. The contract between two companies or parties may provide for further performance or action by one or both parties even following the termination of the contract, such as here, where Microsoft must continue to highlight NBC top stories for the next two years.

For assistance with the dissolution of joint ventures or other related business matters, you will need the help of a knowledgeable Oak Brook, Illinois business attorney. Contact our office today and see how our business lawyers can help you handle your business matter.