Nine Entertainment Co buys Microsoft out of Mi9

Nine Entertainment Co recently announced it would take full control of Mi9 (ninemsn Pty Ltd), acquiring Microsoft’s 50 percent share in the joint venture. However, Mi9 will keep representing Microsoft’s suite of ad products under a long term strategic partnership.

“This agreement allows NEC to retain the key elements of our almost two decade strategic partnership with Microsoft,” says Nine Entertainment Co’s CEO David Gyngell. “It strengthens the platform for NEC’s growing digital video business.”

The joint venture was established in 1997 as ninemsn and the combined online properties, including news.ninemsn.com.au, were viewed by up to 12 million each month in Australia, the companies say.

Nearly 400,000 downloaded Mi9 and Nine’s second screen app Jump-in, they say. “Mi9 is a true leader in Australia’s digital marketplace and we’re confident in the company’s continued success,” said Axel Steinman, vice president for emerging markets at Microsoft Advertising.

Mark Britt will continue as CEO of Mi9. “Ninemsn and Mi9 have been a critical part of NEC’s digital business for many years,” he said. “NEC has always been a fantastic shareholder, so this is business as usual for us.”

In August Mi9 announced a deal to sell premium advertising on ESPN’s websites, including espn.com, footytips.com.au, cricinfo.com, espnfc.com and espnf1.com.

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