Biggest ever network merger could spell Pilot PDA sale

The networking industry was this morning coming to terms with its biggest ever merger.

The joint company resulting from the combination of 3Com and US Robotics (USR) will accrue over $5 billion a year in revenues and employ over 12,000 staff in 130 countries. In a press release, 3Com said that the merger will "provide customers worldwide with comprehensive end-to-end LAN/WAN networking solutions, from network interface cards and high-speed modems, through local area network workgroup and enterprise switching solutions, to remote access and wide area networking solutions".

Under terms of the agreement, 3Com chairman and CEO Eric Benhamou chairman will hold the same post in the new company, to be called 3Com.

"The combination of 3Com and U.S. Robotics dramatically alters the networking landscape with the industry's broadest set of innovative, feature-rich network access solutions," said Benhamou. "Together, with an installed base of over 100 million network connections, we can offer network users the fastest access to their local and wide area networks. The leadership and momentum we have will continue to define the next dimension of networking. This combination will be good for customers, good for shareholders, and good for our employees."

Analysts said that the focus on networking could mean that USR's Palm Computing division and its big-selling Pilot PDA will be sold off.

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