Hewlett-Packard Co. will acquire networking vendor 3Com Corp. for $2.7 billion. The companies expect to close the acquisition during the first half of 2010.

Marlborough, Mass.-based 3Com sells wired and wireless networks in the health care, banking, manufacturing, education, government, public utility and retail sectors. The company will expand HP's networking and security capabilities. About 30% of Fortune 1000 companies, for instance, use 3Com's TippingPoint intrusion prevention systems.

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