Microsoft pulls out of venture with

Microsoft to build online news site without

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SAN FRANCISCO, Cal. - Microsoft announced Sunday, it is pulling out of the joint venture with allowing the software giant to build its own online news site.

The breakup dissolved what was a 16-year relationship between Microsoft Corp. and NBC News according to

Microsoft sold its stake in MSNBC's cable TV channel to NBC in 2005.

NBC is buying Microsoft's 50 percent interest in the MSNBC website for an undisclosed amount. is to be repackaged as

Online users who logged into the website will be redirected to after Sunday.

Yahoo reported that the online split came after after Microsoft, had grown frustrated by contract terms requiring it to exclusively feature content on its own websites.

Adding to turmoil, was the perception that content from MSNBC's website is politically slanted.

"Being limited to content was problematic to us because we couldn't have the multiple news sources and the multiple perspectives that our users were telling us that they wanted," said Bob Visse, general manager of

Microsoft reportedly invested $220 million in the MSNBC partnership.

The company's online ventures, which include search engine Bing and MSN portal, have lost more than $10 billion in the past seven years, according to yahoo.

Microsoft will still feature stories from for the next two years, according to terms of the split.

NBC News is now free to pursue other business prohibited during the Microsoft partnership.

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

Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.