WebMD Revises Deal With Microsoft, Reports Losses
WebMD Corp. announced last week that it has reached a tentative agreement to revise its strategic partnership with Microsoft Corp., but the health portal also said that it suffered a "widened" fourth-quarter net loss, the Wall Street Journal reports. Under a the agreement between the two companies, Microsoft will provide WebMD with the technology for its new wireless hand-held computer system for physicians, "expected to be introduced late this year." In addition, WebMD will attempt to "enable its new practice-management software to run" on Microsoft's Windows operating system and will serve as the "primary provider of health information on MSN and other Microsoft-affiliated Web sites." Meanwhile, WebMD reported a "daunting" fourth-quarter net loss of $1.3 billion on revenue of $199 million. The company registered a $234.7 million loss in the same period one year earlier. However, excluding restructuring charges of $408 million and "other noncash expenses" totaling more than $834 million, the company reported a fourth-quarter loss of $51.8 million (Carrns, Wall Street Journal, 3/23).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.