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HP To Acquire 3com For $2.7 Billion

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the getting-bigger dept.

News 231

An anonymous reader writes "HP and 3Com Corporation today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which HP will purchase 3Com, a leading provider of networking switching, routing and security solutions, at a price of $7.90 per share in cash or an enterprise value of approximately $2.7 billion. The terms of the transaction have been approved by the HP and 3Com boards of directors."

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I was recently wondering... (5, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 4 years ago | (#30067968)

... what happened to 3com. Some of us remember "back in the day" when 3com was one of the top brands for network cards (3c503 or 3c509 anyone?). Then their cards disappeared from the market some years ago, apparently they decided to focus on other areas. I guess it isn't a huge surprise that they would become a target for acquisition.

Re:I was recently wondering... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30067998)

3C905B-TX
Possibly the most compatible card I have ever used. (Every OS except >= Vista supports it). Now they're super cheap on the electronic bay.

Re:I was recently wondering... (1)

flydpnkrtn (114575) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068020)

It's all about the tulips baby.... *sniif*

Re:I was recently wondering... (1)

benjamindees (441808) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068036)

They did move on to other areas, and did a fine job with those as well. They made some very good and affordable VoIP phone systems, for one.

In fact with all the hand-outs to large companies on wall street lately, just a few weeks ago I was thinking of 3Com as a ripe target for takeover. Should have gone with that gut feeling and bought some stock I suppose.

Re:I was recently wondering... (0)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068072)

I remember 3com from their bluetooth stack for Windows, which was a tons better than the default one. At that time I had to use gprs connection for internet, with bluetooth connection going from my laptop to my phone. Even if there was some nuisances still on the 3com stack (my crappy image of bluetooth still lasts because it was so bad at the launch), most of the problems went away after changing from Windows own one.

Re:I was recently wondering... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068042)

http://www.clips4sale.com/studio/33917 someone here might be intrested in this......

Re:I was recently wondering... (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068106)

PCI appeared, and with that the 3c905 and 3c900. Their primary distinguishing feature was that the actual chip used on the card changed every few months requiring a new driver without a change in product number. Then the DEC 21xxx (tulip) series appeared and 3com became just a bad memory.

Re:I was recently wondering... (1)

coobal (1549973) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068540)

See, i remember the 3c509's well - that's all they would support at my university (no generic isa NE2000 cards allowed in 1996...) The 3c900's were crap - they had problems with DMA and I helped a fortune 500 company replace all those cards. The 905's were good - I may have one or two various revisions lying around - they always seemed to work with every OS I would ever throw at them.

Re:I was recently wondering... (2, Interesting)

Mr. Roadkill (731328) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068728)

See, i remember the 3c509's well - that's all they would support at my university (no generic isa NE2000 cards allowed in 1996...)

$ORKPLACE (a university) mandated the 3c509 because we apparantly had lots of problems getting Banyan Vines to work properly through generic NE2000 clones. When PCI came along we moved to the 905. Then we went Netware, and the on-board Intel and Tulip chips got really good, and separate NICs became an un-needed extra cost for most applications here - I could easily believe the same thing happened elsewhere, too. A couple of years ago I fished about 20 new-in-box 3c509b's from a skip; don't know what I'll use them for but they were just too good to let go into landfill, I'll probably wait until supplies dry up and eBay the suckers to the desperate if I can't find anything else to do with them.

The 905's were good - I may have one or two various revisions lying around - they always seemed to work with every OS I would ever throw at them.

They're lovely. I've got a whole stack of various revisions of them too, mostly pulled from computer carcasses because they were too good to throw away, and they're great as second or third or fourth interfaces in machines that need them.

Re:I was recently wondering... (3, Funny)

ColdWetDog (752185) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068776)

Banyan Vines ....

Now, that's a name I've not heard in a long time... A long time.

Re:I was recently wondering... (2, Insightful)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068114)

3c509 - that was the first card I used when I first started messing with networking in Linux - Slackware - going through config files in /etc....

*breaks down sobbing*

I need a hug!

Re:I was recently wondering... (4, Funny)

H0p313ss (811249) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068156)

*breaks down sobbing*

I need a hug!

PTSD or nostalgia?

Re:I was recently wondering... (3, Insightful)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068612)

In the world of computers it's usually a bit of both.

I ceased wondering... (1)

Lead Butthead (321013) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068158)

I ceased wondering how Cisco ate 3Com's lunch when I had to integrate a couple 3Com switches the company CEO (an avid "bargain hunter") acquired into company LAN. To put it mildly, for manufacturing something that refused to play nice with other networking gears my only question is how they managed to stay in business this long.

Re:I was recently wondering... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068318)

3C905C-TXM

3c905c-txm = great card (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068818)

THIS. Best, most compatible card I've ever used. Actually all cards in the main 3c905 series (3c905, 3c905b, 3c905c, -txnm or -txm) remain among the best Fast Ethernet cards, especially thanks to ubiquitous driver support (with shared compatibility between them, thanks to 3com's unified driver for this card series). I remember looking out to make sure I wasn't shipped 3c905cx cards in the later years. They were driver-incompatible with previous versions.

I eventually moved to Intel Pro/100 S for the useful (at the time) 3DES IPsec offload ability, but even then 3com offered a similar chipset that reportedly outperformed it.

They started buying companies (5, Informative)

Peter Simpson (112887) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068384)

Started with them in Massachusetts in '93. They had some of the worst and most disorganized upper management ever. The guys doing corporate strategy must have been ADHD. They would buy a new (usually startup) company every year...some good, some bad. Kept the original management for a year, then, after all the developers and original management had gotten PO'd and left, bought another company and did the same thing. Year after year. I'm not sure what they got out of it.

I was laid off after they'd spent several years developing a gigabit enterprise switch, sold the first few, then made s surprise announcement that they were leaving the enterprise business. You can imagine how their major customers, who'd started to build new infrastructure using these switches, took that news.

They did give out great clothing, though. Still have a collection. Great co-workers, good projects, extremely poor corporate management.

Re:I was recently wondering... (1)

The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068520)

... what happened to 3com. Some of us remember "back in the day" when 3com was one of the top brands for network cards (3c503 or 3c509 anyone?). Then their cards disappeared from the market some years ago, apparently they decided to focus on other areas. I guess it isn't a huge surprise that they would become a target for acquisition.

That's ancient history. My most recent memory of 3com is a 3C16470 switch that needed to be power cycled on a weekly basis.

Re:I was recently wondering... (1)

dhammabum (190105) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068588)

Talk about notalgia... I vaguely remember an etherserver card on thin ethernet (coax) back in the mid-late '80s - they and bass-ungermann had the ethernet market (aside from Novell that is).

I, too, wondered about 3com but like Apple, they had it and they lost it.

Awkward (4, Informative)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30067976)

Somebody talked. The options market started heating up hours before the announcement.

It looks like it's going to be a good fight, as the traditional tech companies merge transformer-style into a pair of consolidated all-in-one providers. Maybe they'll battle to the death for every server room dollar.

All the while Apple sews up more and more lines in the consumer electronics market and Jobs smiles subtly. It's almost as if he knows what happens once we've consolidated everything in the datacenter.

Re:Awkward (2, Insightful)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30067996)

I'm more surprised when someone *doesn't* talk, to be honest.

Apple??? WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068010)

"All the while Apple sews up more and more lines in the consumer electronics market and Jobs smiles subtly"

Other than the iPod, Apple hasn't 'sewn up' any consumer electronic product.

AppleTV is an utter failure.
The iPhone is in third place in the smartphone market.

And they sell overpriced x86 boxes to a niche market segment.

Re:Apple??? WTF? (1)

Conception (212279) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068102)

And they're selling more of them than ever.

Re:Apple??? WTF? (2, Insightful)

symbolset (646467) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068166)

The iPhone is the number one smartphone in the market by the metric that matters most to Apple: net profit.

And they sell overpriced x86 boxes to a niche market segment.

That would be the "profitable" niche - and they appear to have taken over the "profitable" corner of every game board they play on.

Re:Apple??? WTF? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068688)

AppleTV is an utter failure.

And an utterly predictable failure, too. Considering the laundry list of things it disappointingly doesn't even attempt to do poorly.

Re:Awkward (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068292)

This comment is so well-written, I can just envision the comic book version of it...

Re:Awkward (2, Insightful)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068380)

All the while Apple sews up more and more lines in the consumer electronics market and Jobs smiles subtly. It's almost as if he knows what happens once we've consolidated everything in the datacenter.

Apple does nothing in the datacenter or networking and these companies do little in consumer electronics. I doubt the merger will mean much to Apple.

Re:Awkward (0, Offtopic)

djupedal (584558) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068796)

> "Apple does nothing in the datacenter or networking..."

Yeah, I'm not impressed with 2 billion billable downloads either....

FU HP (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068008)

As a current HP bastard (who didn't post this, BTW), this pissed me off. We've endured pay cuts, benefit cuts, no raises, mass firings, hell, my local office can't even purchase paper plates & disposable spoons, and somehow there's enough money to purchase another company.

Re:FU HP (5, Informative)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068056)

... what else is new? The IT company I work for implemented 5% pay cuts across the board this year, and then went out and made a ~$2B acquisition.

Re:FU HP (3, Interesting)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068228)

It's not limited to IT. We matched last years numbers (which were record setting, by the way) and increased profitability. But... because our sister division's numbers sucked, No bonus for us, expansion is on hold, and capital expendatures on equipment we need for production is on hold. Meanwhile the parent corporation is buying up compatible businesses. So, why was it we busted our collective asses this year? Someone?

Re:FU HP (4, Insightful)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068660)

'So, why was it we busted our collective asses this year? Someone?'

Because you are young, foolish, and naive and believe that hard work and diligence means something to a corporation.
But don't worry; you will grow out of it :)

Re:FU HP (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068536)

How's life at EMC?

Re:FU HP (5, Funny)

raftpeople (844215) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068116)

It's all about budgeting. They put in a line item for 2.7B acquisition, whereas you did not put in a line item for paper plates and spoons. Next time be more aggressive and the company picnic should be a little less messy.

FU HP-3Com sockets. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068128)

That's why this story is posted to the "getting buggered" department.

Re:FU HP (3, Insightful)

Jonah Hex (651948) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068172)

As someone who is going through HP's Work Force Reduction, it was a shock to me too. I'll just bet my 88K salary put them over the edge for this buy. - HEX

Re:FU HP (1)

WonkoS (1263280) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068938)

You were lucky.

We used to dream of paper plates.

Why, when I was a young man, our competitor would buy us out and the european union would step in and block the sale, causing mass layoffs and gutting the company beforehand.

Re:FU HP (2, Insightful)

camperdave (969942) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068180)

Buying paper plates won't earn HP any money. Buying 3Com will.

Re:FU HP (1)

amorsen (7485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068272)

It's highly unlikely that HP will make money on that one. 3com doesn't have anything which HP doesn't have a better version of already. This makes even less sense than the Compaq deal.

Re:FU HP (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068334)

3com doesn't have anything which HP doesn't have a better version of already.

TippingPoint. HP doesn't have anything in the IPS space.

Re:FU HP (3, Informative)

Man On Pink Corner (1089867) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068716)

It's highly unlikely that HP will make money on that one. 3com doesn't have anything which HP doesn't have a better version of already. This makes even less sense than the Compaq deal

Patents.

Re:FU HP (3, Informative)

AuMatar (183847) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068358)

Shit like this is why I left 5 years ago. Get out while you still can, the old HP is dead and the zombie remnant doesn't give a shit about its employees.

Re:FU HP (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068368)

Its funny. I know some body who was in middle management in HP in the 1990s. The was sick of the weekly meetings half way across the world and was praying for the money to run out.

I guess it did.

Re:FU HP (0, Flamebait)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068482)

And yet you (all) still work there.

Quiet approval, that is called.

And what it can create, is known as the Holocaust, today.

It always takes two sides.

It's just as much your own fault.

Now cue the excuses...

Re:FU HP (1)

Volund (1243160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068498)

As a current HP bastard (who didn't post this, BTW), this pissed me off. We've endured pay cuts, benefit cuts, no raises, mass firings, hell, my local office can't even purchase paper plates & disposable spoons, and somehow there's enough money to purchase another company.

Obviously you don't work in sales. When I left because I hadn't gotten a raise in four years and they were slashing my tuition benefits, they were offering used JAGUARS from the sales fleet on the portal.

I wish you the best of luck in finding greener pastures.

the suspense is over... (4, Insightful)

spywhere (824072) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068014)

I couldn't wait to find out which company HP would destroy next.

Re:the suspense is over... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068436)

Watch out, your company's next.

they can HAVE it... (1)

spywhere (824072) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068566)

I run a one-man PC repair company with about 750 customers. I'll happily sell it to HP for $12 million... or to you for $0.12 million.

Re:the suspense is over... (4, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068908)

I'll give you a hint. The company is referred to with a two letter acronym that starts with an "H". They've spun off all but one of their best divisions over the last decade, and they're about to fold their printer division (The last that makes anything innovative or of any quality) into the division that makes their worst-in-class PCs. They also just bought 3Com.

No, Compaq bought 3Com (4, Insightful)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068024)

Given what is left of HP after the hurricane Carly destroyed the place.

Re:No, Compaq bought 3Com (1)

Knara (9377) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068030)

Sad, but true.

Re:No, Compaq bought 3Com (2, Funny)

MrEricSir (398214) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068090)

Next on her agenda: governor California.

Oh well, if she splits California in two it might not be a bad thing. Unless one of them winds up like Agilent.

Re:No, Compaq bought 3Com (1)

mirix (1649853) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068338)

Unless one of them winds up like Agilent.

Ridiculously expensive and world famous? Kinda sounds like socal.

Re:No, Compaq bought 3Com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068622)

Unless one of them winds up like Agilent.

Ridiculously expensive and world famous? Kinda sounds like socal.

NorCal claims dibs on Agilent. Ridiculously expensive test equipment understandable only by nerds... but by God, it works.

The HP brand goes with SoCal. Ridiculously expensive, it prints pretty pictures, the ink costs $60,000/gallon, the cartridges have DRM in them, and the printer driver, despite eating up 500 megabytes of diskspace, exists only to pop up a message saying that your HP FooJet2008 doesn't work with Linux, OS X, or Windows 7, and that you should recycle it and buy an HP FooJet2009.

Re:No, Compaq bought 3Com (2, Informative)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068350)

The HP/Agilent split had nothing to do with Carly. That was started under the previous CEO and pretty much completed by the time she showed up.

Re:No, Compaq bought 3Com (1)

MichaelSmith (789609) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068390)

Next on her agenda: governor California.

She as on TV the other night here and I had the distinct impression her aim was about one step above that position.

Re:No, Compaq bought 3Com (1)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068718)

You don't mean: Skynet itself?!? GASP!

Re:No, Compaq bought 3Com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068474)

No, she will talk people into a merger between Ca and De. That way we will have 4 of the first 5 letters of the alphabet locked up. Unbeatable!

Re:No, Compaq bought 3Com (2, Interesting)

KenSeymour (81018) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068744)

Actually, she is running for the U. S. Senate against Barbara Boxer.

Maybe I'll send Senator Boxer a campaign contribution with a note:
"I was laid off by Carly."

You know, you can give money to campaigns out of state. So there are
a good 15,000 potential donors right there.

Re:No, Compaq bought 3Com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068790)

Despite botching it at HP, she's running for the US Senate, not California governor. My guess is the teabagger will wack her from the right, while her own record at HP just wacks her between the eyes. You do have to laugh though, considering how efffective a spokesperson she was for John McCain.

Re:No, Compaq bought 3Com (0, Troll)

NoYob (1630681) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068152)

When she was on 60 Minutes, Leslie Stahl mentioned the criticisms about Carly not being involved in day to day operations. Carly got all defensive and said she was.

WRONG! The correct answer is: CEOs are strategists and are concerned with the big picture. The president of the company worries about day to day operations. She shouldn't have been involved with day to day operations. The critics didn't know what they were talking about - they were criticizing the wrong behavior.

Re:No, Compaq bought 3Com (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068570)

as an EDSer that was acquired none of us have any love fior Mark Hurd the current CEO who has constantly lied about how the "merger" would work. 3Comers watch out your clients will be taken and your jobs sent overseas. Hurd only wants Sales people in the USA the rest can be done overseas or with H1Bs as they are cheap. HP desperately wants to be like IBM but won't sell off money losing laptops and the High end Itaniums servers can't compete with the p series. HP will be acquired by Apple in 10 yrs at this rate.

Re:No, Compaq bought 3Com (1)

wiredlogic (135348) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068768)

This is basically restoring one of the many useful bits of Agilent that were available in house before her masterful smashup job.

Re:No, Compaq bought 3Com (1)

dalan (462305) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068946)

Carly destroyed the place, and then she ransacked it. Please don't ever forget the ransacked part. I won't.

Joy (5, Insightful)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068046)

I can't wait for 500MB driver packages, 234454 running background processes and 7 tray icons required to configure the hardware.

Re:Joy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068094)

Or you could download their "driver only" packs and not get all that crap. Just saying.

Re:Joy (1)

EkriirkE (1075937) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068274)

Those are not always available. Believe me; if I see a "network install" offering I'm elated.

Re:Joy (4, Funny)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068126)

Just you wait, my boy, just you wait...

The ether cartridge that comes with the NIC is just a starter, it'll run out within a few hundred thousand packets(less if the packets contain more than ~50% 1s). Of course, only genuine HP ether is supported, for best possible data fidelity

Re:Joy (5, Funny)

McNihil (612243) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068296)

Kids, this is what happens when sniffing ether.

Re:Joy (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068524)

I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing ether...

Re:Joy (1)

Korin43 (881732) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068456)

I use token ring you insensitive clod! Speaking of which, I wonder if HP brand tokens last longer than the generic brand?

Re:Joy (1)

GaryOlson (737642) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068554)

No, since they are a centrally controlled token of a large bureaucratic organization, the tokens will be inflated. This maintains the functionality of the token while allowing the value of the token to degrade to nothing. Last one on the ring which receives a valueless token falls off the network never to return.

Unless you receive government tokens; but then that is a completely different communication protocol.

Re:Joy (1)

Nimey (114278) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068220)

Also needing the better part of an hour to install the gorram driver.

HP's more expensive business-type printers have decent drivers that only need 10MB or less disk space, and don't have bloated installers, but you'd never know it from the consumer shit.

Re:Joy (1)

Kaboom13 (235759) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068262)

Just for kicks, if you don't need any of the fancy features, you can still use the old laserjet 4 drivers for brand new HP laserjet printers. Every large enterprise I've been in has standardized on them, they must be doing something right. Their consumer grade hardware is total shit though, a customer of ours decided to "save" some money by buying some printers from Best buy instead of the printers we recommended. They bought 2 HP printers, the drivers took 45 minutes to install out of the box.

After the first one, I tosssed the cds in the trash and downloaded the "plug in play" drivers from the hp site, they only took 15-20 minutes to install.

Re:Joy (1)

Hurricane78 (562437) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068494)

Does that mean, you are already planning to buy their products when they arrive at that state? ^^

Borg (1)

confused one (671304) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068122)

It's starting to look like HP deserves the Borg moniquer more than Microsoft does.

Another one bites the dust. (2, Insightful)

Snufu (1049644) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068130)

3com, we hardly knew-- ...Well, I guess we did know you. So long.

What happens when there are no companies left to merge? You get China.

Plus ca change (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068178)

Big company buys ailing small company that had it and blew it

Course, we all hope HP shares dont drop straight after the purchase...

I don't get it (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068290)

I just don't get it. Why would HP want to acquire 3COM? HP makes calculators, like the HP-28, and many of them have Reverse Poland Notation. Why would HP want to get 3COM? I just don't get it. 3COM makes networking stuff, like ethernet cables. Ethernet cables are used to connect computers together. Will HP's new calculator's run Unix? I don't get it. Will 3COM use Reverse Poland Notation on their cables? I'm confused. Someone needs to explain this to me, because I'm confused.

Re:I don't get it (3, Interesting)

khallow (566160) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068442)

Calculators are a small part of HP's business and definitely not driving this merger. Someone was saying that HP might be doing this to better position themselves in the datacenter. I guess that they see the networking products of 3Com as another way to sell HP services. In other words, look at the high margin parts of HP. They are printer refills and various support services. I don't see the 3Com merger selling more printer refills, but it does look likely to open the door to more HP services.

Re:I don't get it (1)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068492)

HP already has its ProCurve line. It seems they mostly bought 3Com because it's big in Asia? That's what the talk is anyway,

Re:I don't get it (1)

moreati (119629) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068670)

My first thought, without RTFA, was:

Cisco: Look our routers can run Linux and look at these x86 modules, we're getting into the server market.
HP: Well screw you, we'll go and buy some networking market share.

No idea how accurate that is, but it felt right.

So Did I (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068842)

I immediately thought the same thing, but with all the new products announcements by Cisco and the heated competition between Juniper and Cisco at the enterprise end of the networking market and Huwei squeezing HP at the low end, this looks like a desperation move by the HP board room. It has the smell of fear all over it. The debt they are adding will sink them, if they make even a slight miscalculation.

Valuation (1)

TripHammer (668315) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068326)

Wow, they paid $7.90 per share, a 39% premium over today's closing price. Earnings are anemic but at least they are in the black. It will be interesting to see what HP had in mind. I'm still trying to comprehend how this was the best use for $2.7 billion in cash.

Re:Valuation (3, Interesting)

timmarhy (659436) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068432)

i don't get it either. what can 3com possibly provide that HP doesn't already have? if carly hadn't of destroyed hp's RnD labs they could have built anything 3com have for a lot less then 2.7 billion.

Re:Valuation (1)

tukang (1209392) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068904)

3com can provide their customers/additional market share which perhaps hp can service at a relatively small cost by using their existing infrastrcuture and downsizing 3com's

Re:Valuation (1)

wtbname (926051) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068614)

Dont be an idiot, the best use of that cash would have been to give it to me ! OBVIOUSLY.

Maybe HP is for real... (4, Funny)

voss (52565) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068448)

Adding 3com networking know-how to HP computing products may actually produce better products?
Hey it could happen!

when i first glanced at the title (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068466)

i thought it said "How To Acquire 3com for 2.7 Billion"

and my initial thought was

step 1: get 2.7 billion dollars...

heh

3Com Woes, Good Luck HP. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068578)

As an ex 10 year gold partner of 3Com (left this year), I can say their quality of goods has gone downhill for the past 3 years. There were nice margins in their equipment but their Layer 2 and 3 switches and cores were plagued with problems out of the box or after just a few months of usage in datacenters and enterprise. Numerous port deaths, uplink failures, stacking communication issues, etc...

The NBX100 was revolutionary, and they still run like champs, however the new NBX and V IP series chasis became junk. Numerous VXWorks drive failures and PRI cards were constantly losing chassis connections. Not to mention the RMA process was wretched.

Personally, I believe 3Com's downfall was to go against Cisco by undercutting on price which lead to cost cutting on manufacturing and high deviations. Basically putting them on par with Linksys, DLink, and NetGear.

I hope HP turns them around in certain areas as it would be nice to possibly have decent manageable copper/fabric switching, especially for blades, at a more competitive price for budget concise decision makers that prefer HP in their shops.

Don't tell the EC (0, Troll)

TravisHein (981987) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068692)

I'm sure [the EC] could spend almost a year to decide to object to this too.

Made me laugh... (2, Interesting)

bsd_usr (140514) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068760)

Here's the thing... The company I work for has a few sister companies in HK and China. I work for the U.S. office.

We recently (last year) upgraded our switches in the U.S. office. Previously, we were running 3Com switches of various types and models (3300's mostly of different kinds, and some 4200's). The decision to replace them was due to the fact they were getting old and the performance wasn't really there when you start daisy chaining 10 different switches to support over 200 ports.

When looking for new switches, I looked at Cisco and HP. Our overseas IIT guy tried to get us to go the 3Com route once again, since that's what they use in the HK and China offices. Actually, they use Huawei branded switches as well as 3Com braded switches. If you don't know already, they're basically the same thing. He really tried hard to get us to go that route, but I would not budge. I did everything to show that 3Com had very little market share in the U.S. and thus very little support.

Anyway, we ended up replacing the aging 3Com equipment with HP Procurve switches (5406 and 5412). We wanted to go with Cisco switches at first, but they were our of our budget. Next to Cisco, HP seemed like the most logical choice.So far, I'm happy with the decision.

I just find it ironic that after the acquisition, that whole power struggle over which switch to use will be moot.

That name is getting clunky fast. (2, Funny)

sootman (158191) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068764)

3ComHPaq?

Re:That name is getting clunky fast. (1)

simplexion (1142447) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068930)

You forgot EDS

Kerbango (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068804)

Maybe they'll revive the Kerbango [wikipedia.org]

Combating Cisco's Server Push (5, Interesting)

HockeyPuck (141947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068822)

Why is anybody surprised by this? Cisco announces a server product with very strong networking abilities. This is pretty much one of the few large areas of the datacenter (hardware wise) that Cisco hasn't moved into (besides disk arrays). HP sees this as a huge threat to them (bigger than IBM, who makes most revenue from services including running datacenters comprised of non-IBM equipment).

HP now realizing that they don't have the networking expertise to go after cisco directly in the networking space (one area they need to expand into to gain marketshare in the datacenter beyond servers and HDS rebranded storage, or that midrange Compaq based arrays). Well, they could go after the #2 enterprise networking company (Juniper, but they have a market cap of ~$13B), so they pick up 3com and whatever is left of it (remember they used to be partnered a while ago with Huauei, that partnership is gone tho), so they can better fight against Cisco for networking.

For these big companies it's all about expanding your presence and finding new revenue streams. Cisco can't seriously increase it's core routing/switching marketshare very easily any more than HP can increase its server marketshare.

It's not always easy to grow your company organically (from within). Look at cisco, they buy security companies, storage switching companies, WebEx. Hell, when they were a router only company, they bought an ethernet switching company (Crescendo) which later became the bread and butter business for them.

the real reason for HP's interest (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068832)

Marketing tie-ins to the "I, Robot" sequel featuring US Robotics.

ProCurve Crap + 3Com Crap = Crappy Crap (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068890)

Just when you thought ProCurve couldn't get any worse... lets add old crap from a company that went out of business, get this... for having crap!

I read this as "HOW To Acquire 3com For $2.7B" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30068920)

I thought, easy, first have $2.7 Billion. I think 3com would be low on my list of things to buy if I had $2.7 Billion. I think I'd just start small with,
say, a yacht.

Did they do this for the VoIP? (4, Interesting)

Deviant (1501) | more than 4 years ago | (#30068948)

I've found HP's ProCurve Switches to be great with a lifetime warranty and free software updates compared to the Cisco equivilents which need SmartNet (maybe smart on Cisco's part) and cost 2-3 times as much.

However with alot of my clients rolling out the Cisco Voice solutions the idea usually is they standardize on all Cisco kit including the switches. I wonder if this is HP's play to get into the IP telephony market (which 3Com's website indicates they are in) to complete their offerings so a buisiness will go all-HP in a similar fashion?

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