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Microsoft, NBC News pull plug on MSNBC.com

NBC is buying Microsoft's interest in MSNBC.com, which has been rebranded as NBCNews.com.

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An NBC store is seen through a window reflecting Rockefeller Center. (Chris Hondros/Getty Images)

Microsoft and NBC News have pulled the plug on MSNBC.com.

Despite the financial success of the website, Microsoft and NBC News parted ways after 16 years because of differences over how to control the partnership and content, according to USA TODAY.

The relationship first started to unravel in 2005 when Microsoft sold its stake in MSNBC's cable television news channel to NBC. NBC is now owned by Comcast.

NBC is buying out Microsoft's 50 percent interest in MSNBC.com and the site will be rebranded as NBCNews.com.

In fact users who log on to MSNBC.com are now automatically redirected to NBCNews.com. The website is moving from Microsoft's campus in Redmond, Wash., to NBC News headquarters in New York, USA TODAY reported.

The New York Times reported both Microsoft and NBC came to feel handcuffed by the web arrangement; NBC's advertisers wanted to buy ads both on its TV newscasts and websites, but could not because Microsoft ran the ad sales.

Microsoft, for it's part was frustrated because its contract required it to exclusively feature MSNBC.com content. Also, MSNBC's cable channel began tailoring programming to a more liberal viewpoint, USA TODAY wrote.

More from GlobalPost:Microsoft to lose $6.2 billion over advertising writedown

Both Microsoft and NBC now plan new websites in the coming year.

Microsoft will launch its own news service this fall, with about 100 people creating original content.

The New York Times reported next year MSNBC.com "will be reborn as a stand-alone site for the cable channel MSNBC, ending the brand confusion that has plagued the site in the past."

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/business/120716/microsoft-nbc-news-pull-plug-msnbccom