Updated from 12:40 a.m. ESTPALO ALTO, Calif. ( TheStreet -- Hewlett-Packard ( HPQ - Get Report) on Wednesday struck a $2.7 billion deal to acquire 3Com ( COMS), a shocking move aimed at bolstering its networking business. The 3Com deal, which was announced after the market closed, is a clear indication of Hewlett-Packard's desire to tackle its long-time partner Cisco ( CSCO - Get Report) in its own backyard. Cisco stepped on H-P's toes earlier this year when it entered the server market, signaling all-out war between the two companies. "Companies are looking for ways to break free from the business limitations imposed by a networking paradigm that has been imposed by a single vendor," said Dave Donatelli, vice president of H-P's enterprise server and networking division, in a statement.
Mark Hurd, H-P CEO