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Partnership termination expected to drive competition

Florida residents know that it is not uncommon for joint business owners to face numerous disputes throughout the term of their ownership. However, sometimes these disputes become difficult to resolve among parties. This can often lead to business litigation in an effort to resolve the dispute. This type of disagreement has led to the end of MSNBC, a joint venture between Microsoft and NBC.

This business marriage began to fall apart in 2005 when Microsoft sold its interest in the MSNBC cable channel to NBC. Over time, the two partners gained more desire to have control over their "digital destinies," while the internet continues to permeate our culture and their businesses.

The contract between the two parties required Microsoft to feature only MSNBC content on its website. Due to MSNBC's goals in positioning themselves against the competition, Microsoft felt this made their website look politically slanted.

As a result, NBC is buying Microsoft's 50 percent interest in the business. However, as a term of the separation, Microsoft will continue to highlight NBC's stories on their websites for the next two years.

Luckily, the divorce is amicable, and it did not lead them into heated business litigation. However, that is not always the case when joint ventures head south. These types of disagreements can often lead to intense litigation.

It is important to know that litigation can also arise in partnership disagreements, expulsions of corporate officers or shareholders, allegations of fraud and much more. There are so many aspects to these types of disputes that they can become very time-consuming and stressful. Sometimes it is helpful to gain the insight of an expert in this field to make the process flow as smoothly as possible.

Source: Indystar.com, "MSNBC.com: Microsoft, NBC dissolve joint venture," July 16, 2012

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