MSN’s five year old deal for a joint venture Canadian online portal with Bell Canada has come to and end, and both will launch separate portals this week. The Sympatico.MSN.ca portal, the biggest in Canada, will stop working by tomorrow, and in place will be two separate sites MSN.ca and Sympatico.ca, owned separately by the two respective companies. In 2004, when the joint site launched, it was meant to a subscription service with added MSN/Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) services added on top of the content portal, but since then, the companies say the times have changed with the shift towards online advertising. MSN Premium, the subscription service, meant to add e-mail services, anti-virus software and parental-control technologies through telecom partners.
According to FinancialPost, because of rev-share deal, Microsoft soon found itself delivering more than 90 percent of the ad page views through its Hotmail and MSN Messenger properties, but still handing 55 percent of the revenue to Bell.
The two will continue to work together with traffic sharing arrangement and search on Sympatico, powered by Bing.
Globe & Mail: Microsoft has added about 60 ad and edit staff to prepare for the launch of the new MSN.ca. Bell has kept its Sympatico head count stable. Both companies will compete with the joint portal run by their rivals Rogers and Yahoo.