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Tech Industry

Amazon buys Egghead, to relaunch site

The giant e-tailer plans to relaunch Egghead.com after buying the electronics retailer's assets in bankruptcy court for $6.1 million in cash.

Amazon.com plans to relaunch Egghead.com after buying the electronics retailer's assets in bankruptcy court for $6.1 million in cash.

The leading online retailer bought Egghead's URL and other intangible assets in bankruptcy court last week, Amazon spokeswoman Patty Smith said.

Amazon started redirecting customers from Egghead's former Web site, www.egghead.com, to Amazon's electronics store on Sunday, Smith added.

Egghead.com, which sold computers, computer products, software and high-tech electronics, stopped taking orders through its Web site in October, after Fry's Electronics canceled a takeover bid.

Egghead, which closed all its brick-and-mortar retail stores to become a full-fledged e-tailer in 1998, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in August.

Amazon bought Egghead's assets because of the strength of its well-known brand name and to introduce new customers to Amazon, Smith said.

"We think it's a very valuable brand," she said. "We want to combine the best of Egghead with the best of Amazon."

Chief Executive Jeff Sheahan said Egghead will send e-mail to customers to notify them about the transition.

Smith said the relaunched site will be similar to the sites Amazon hosts for Target and Borders. In both cases, Target and Borders have their own co-branded sites within Amazon, maintaining the same look and feel of Amazon's other stores but containing some unique products and content.

Although Amazon will acquire Egghead's customer information as part of the sale, it does not plan to use the data, Smith said.

Instead, she said, Amazon will abide by the terms of Egghead's privacy policy, which said Egghead would not "sell or rent customer information to any outside party under any circumstances."

Amazon will require customers who order from the new Egghead site to reregister their account information.

However, Smith said Egghead might notify its customers of the change and allow them to opt into having their data transferred to Amazon. eToys did something similar after KB Toys bought its assets.

Egghead is in the process of selling its remaining assets, including its inventory, computers and office equipment, said Sheahan. The company is also finalizing the sale of its Onsale.com brand name and URL, but declined to name the purchaser.