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Wednesday agreed to buy

Alteon Websystems'

gigabit Ethernet network interface card business for $110 million in cash.

Gigabit Ethernet network interface cards deliver billions of bits of information per second over computer networks. It was among the first companies to deliver gigabit Ethernet solutions over copper cables, which are slower than fiber optic lines but more widespread. Alteon is a unit of


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3Com will record a one-time charge of approximately $20 million to $25 million for in-process research and development costs related to the acquisition in its fiscal third quarter ending March 2, 2001.

Shares of 3Com were recently off 13 cents, or 0.8%, to $15.50 in early morning



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