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Microsoft Officially Parts Ways with NBC Online

What’s in a website name change? Maybe a search for more advertising cash. has started redirecting to—a reflection of a deal that sees Microsoft and NBC parting ways.

Comcast, which controls NBC, bought Microsoft’s 50 percent stake in the joint MSNBC venture, at a cost estimated around $300 million. According to the New York Times, NBC executives say the change will “bring the … staffs closer; improve the digital distribution of their TV programs; and make more apps and Web sites optimized for mobile devices.”

The MSNBC partnership was formed in the early days of the Web, and its breakup allows MSN and NBC to seek other sources of traffic, much like Yahoo and ABC News’ combined sites. That could lead to more advertising dollars—and maybe to NBC news running a lot more cat videos.