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Post-merger 3Com to lay off 800

The networking company will lay off about 800 workers over the next year as a result of its merger with U.S. Robotics.

Networking maker 3Com (COMS) plans to cut 800 jobs as its absorbs its recent acquisition of modem maker U.S. Robotics.

The company plans to pare 600 permanent and 200 temporary jobs from its combined workforce of 13,500 over the fiscal year, said Leslie Davis, a 3Com spokeswoman. The layoff notices began more than a week ago.

"The positions affected will be across the board, with some of the centralized positions impacted early on," Davis said. These positions include the finance, human resources, security, and marketing departments, she said.

3Com and U.S. Robotics completed their $8.5 billion merger last month. Further details of how the networking maker will move forward with its new acquisition will be annnounced this month.

3Com plans to offer six months of severance pay and two months of medical coverage to employees who are laid off. Figures on the restructuring charge will not be disclosed until the company reports its fiscal first-quarter results after August.

3Com has previously said it expects its financial performance to remain in line with analysts estimates, despite the merger and related charges.

Nonetheless, Gruntal & Company analyst David Takata said that the number of layoffs is large. He added that the merger will depress earnings in the first quarter or two and then possibly beat analysts' estimates after that.

"That's assuming they get through the merger as planned," he said.