NBC in talks to buy Microsoft stake in MSNBC.com

Associated Press

LOS ANGELES — NBC News is negotiating to buy Microsoft’s portion of MSNBC.com, potentially severing a joint venture that begin nearly 17 years ago.

An NBC News spokeswoman said Wednesday by email that “conversations are taking place” but “there is no deal.”

Microsoft declined to comment.

The deal would break up a venture first announced in 1995. Back then, Microsoft Corp. said it would invest $220 million for a 50 percent stake in the MSNBC cable channel and its website.

The TV partnership dissolved in 2005 and NBC acquired a majority stake. But the sides continued to share ownership of MSNBC.com, a popular news website headquartered on Microsoft’s campus in Redmond.

Although the MSNBC TV channel has become known as a politically left-leaning counterpart to Fox News, the website offers more straightforward news from various sources.

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