HP announced yesterday that it would acquire 3Com for $2.7 billion, or about $7.90 per share. The agreement will underscore HP's next-generation data center strategy, and the resulting business outcome will help customers simplify the processes of deploying an edge-to-core network fabric for the enterprise.

"Companies are looking for ways to break free from the business limitation imposed by a network paradigm that has been dominated by a single vendor," said Dave Donatelli, an HP executive. He added, "By acquiring 3Com, we are accelerating the execution of our Converged Infrastructure strategy and bringing disruptive change to the network industry." The acquisition will also expand HP's Ethernet switching offerings, add routing solutions and strengthen the company's position in China -- a quickly growing market.

The agreement has already been approved by the HP and 3Com board of directors, and is still subject to customary closing conditions. The deal should be finalized in the first half of 2010.