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HP and 3Com set for merger approval

Alex Scroxton
Hewlett-Packard appears to be coasting towards EU approval for its $2.7bn (£1.7bn) acquisition of networking infrastructure specialist 3Com.

Citing sources familiar with the deal, Reuters today reported that the EU saw no reason to block the acquisition, and said the deal was likely to be passed unconditionally.

This paves the way for the acquisition to close in the near future.

HP's acquisition of 3Com, announced last November, has been taken as a move to pick up customers and channels that will better equip its own networking division, HP ProCurve, to compete against Cisco.

HP seesbuying in core switching, routing and security products, rather thandeveloping them, as the right strategy in the face of Cisco's rapidramp-up in the data centre market.

This ties into HP's Converged Infrastructure strategy, which draws servers, internalstorage, management software, power and cooling and networking into oneinfrastructure.

It also gives the ProCurve unit a strategic bridgehead in China, which 3Com has made into a key market for its kit.

The EU's final decision is set for Friday.
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