Tech

Microsoft won’t say if MSNBC bias led to divestiture

Microsoft refused to confirm speculation that the company’s divestiture from MSNBC.com was a result of the online news source’s perceived bias.

Microsoft announced early Monday it had sold its 50 percent stake in MSNBC.com, freeing up the software provider to develop its own online news source.

In the release announcing the move, Bob Visse, general manager of Microsoft’s Online Services Division, said the move will help Microsoft “provide a broader perspective on what’s happening” and allow consumers to see “more perspectives” by ending Microsoft’s exclusivity agreement with MSNBC.com. Previously, Microsoft’s online home MSN was bound to solely provide news content from MSNBC.com.

The AP report on the story blames the breakup on Microsoft’s exasperation with MSNBC’s supposed catering to a liberal audience.

A Microsoft spokesperson declined to comment when asked by The Daily Caller if MSNBC’s apparent bias played a role in the move or if Microsoft is comfortable with the continued use of the Microsoft brand as part of the MSNBC network.

Explaining the move, Visse said, “People expect to see multiple perspectives.”

Microsoft first distanced itself from MSNBC when the software giant sold its share in the MSNBC TV network in 2005. The news network kept the MSNBC branding, a combination of “Microsoft” and “NBC.”

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