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Brussels, 12 th February 2010

Mergers: Commission clears proposed acquisition of 3Com by Hewlett-Packard

The European Commission has cleared under the EU Merger Regulation the proposed acquisition of 3Com Corporation by Hewlett-Packard Company, both of the US. The Commission concluded that the concentration would not significantly impede effective competition in the European Economic Area (EEA) or any substantial part of it.

HP is a leading provider of products, technologies, software, solutions and services to individual customers and businesses, including the public and education sector.

3Com is active in the research and development, production and marketing of communications equipment that provide network solutions for businesses.

The Commission examined the effects of the proposed transaction on the provision of computer networking equipment where HP and 3Com are both active, in particular on the supply of switches and routers, with a possible sub-division of the market according to type of technology or number of users. The Commission concluded that the concentration would be unlikely to raise competition concerns. The Commission's investigation confirmed that the merged company would continue to face a number of global and effective competitors giving customers the choice from a range of alternative providers for switches and routers.

The Commission also found that, although HP is present in IT markets related to computer networking equipment, such as IT services, the proposed transaction would not give rise to any vertical or conglomerate effects. In particular, the Commission found that the new entity will have a relatively limited position in networking equipment or IT services, where there are numerous alternative suppliers. Therefore it would not have the ability post transaction to restrict the access of competing networking equipment suppliers to customers of HP's other IT products and services.

The operation was notified to the Commission for regulatory clearance on 8 January 2010.

More information on the case will be available at:

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