RealTime IT News Goes Gently

Beauty products e-tailer, an idealab! company, has quietly given up the ghost and sold its name to competitor

The site now says " recently closed for business ... we recommend you visit"

A spokesperson for confirmed to that they "negotiated with idealab! and purchased's name, the URL and access to its customer base."

Asked what that access consists of, the spokesperson said bought the right to contact's customer base by e-mail, twice. In fact, the first round of e-mails from sephora is going out today, the spokesperson said, offering a greeting; the second round will offer discounts on a customer's initial purchase from

The spokesperson said sephora has no immediate plans to resurrect the site, as it "sold many of the same products." apparently shut down quietly about two weeks ago. There was no immediate word on job losses there. reportedly was the victim of a security breach in September in which the site was temporarily shut down after it reportedly exposed customers' names and addresses, orders and types of credit cards customers used, and the last five digits of card numbers.

Parent company idealab! on Oct. 18 withdrew its own IPO, citing adverse market conditions.

Launched in October 1999, is the online arm of Sephora, a division of French company Mokt Hennessey Louis Vuitton (LVMH). The Sephora retail concept arrived in the United States in mid-1998 with the first New York and Miami stores. Now there are 50 bricks and mortar stores, including the 21,000-square-foot global flagship store in Rockefeller Center in New York.

Meanwhile, Reuters was reporting that a "cyberwar" over online perfume sales in France claimed its first victim after retailer announced that a string of lawsuits had forced it off-line.

Perfume giants in France -- from L'Oreal to LVMH -- have filed at least 16 suits against the group, forcing it to shut down its French site at least temporarily.