In a move that could heat up competition in the computer-networking business, 3Com accepted Hewlett-Packard's $2.7 billion all-cash buyout offer. Merging the companies would give HP a much strong position in networking, an area dominated by Cisco Systems. HP made it clear that is exactly what it has in mind. "HP is eager and now positioned to disrupt the networking industry," said Ann Livermore, an executive vice president at the company.

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