UPDATE: Flooz.com Goes Offline, Reported in Merger Talks

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Online payment service Flooz.com reportedly is in merger talks with an unnamed company, after shutting its Web site last week and telling retailers to stop accepting Flooz as payment.

In a note posted on www.flooz.com, the company said: "We are currently unable to process your transaction. We are working very hard to resume Flooz.com web site operations. Check back for further updates."

The site also contains an e-mail link to its customer service department.

According to press reports, BarnesandNoble.com, Tower Records, Outpost.com, iGadget.com and Ashford.com last week removed their links to Flooz.com.

No one at Flooz.com could be reached for comment, and an e-mail to the company's customer service address received an automated reply noting the request was received.

However, press reports noted an e-mail sent to Flooz.com partner sites indicated that the company was talking with possible merger partners and that it hoped to be back online soon. The company would not say with whom it was talking or when it might resume operations.

The company's Flooz gift currency is bought online with a credit card and sent with a personalized e-mail. Recipients can either spend their Flooz currency at online retailers such as MarthaStewart.com, J&R Computer World and JCrew.com, or save it in an account.

Robert Levitan, co-founder and former executive at iVillage.com, a Web portal geared toward women, founded Flooz.com in March 1999.

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