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3Com to offload telecomms division?

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Siemens is set to make waves in the US data networking business next week, but is it eyeing up 3Com? On Monday, the German company is expected to announce that it has purchased US networking company Argon Networks - for around $240 million - and has taken a $30 million stake in Accelerated Networks, according to today's Financial Times. Reports were also rife that Siemens was considering paying £1.2 billion for that part of US networking giant 3Com that sells networking equipment to phone companies. 3Com is too widely spread, split between consumer modems and network cards, hubs and routers for businesses and its Palm handheld division, according to analysts. According to sources, the acquisition will give Siemens much needed US coverage and help 3Com focus on selling to SMEs. However, the deal is not yet set in stone. Keith Humphreys, analyst at Eurolan Research, told The Register he was not convinced by the rumours. "I think the reports are false. There's no logic in it. Siemens and 3Com are already involved in a $100 million joint venture. The current combined $132 billion voice and data market in Europe is something 3Com cannot ignore." Last December 3Com and Siemens announced an agreement to develop Lan telephony and multimedia products for enterprise customers. ®

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