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Cisco, Alcatel on the rocks?

The networker is reportedly dissatisfied with the way its partnership with Alcatel is going.

The partnership between data networking king Cisco Systems and European giant Alcatel may be in trouble, according to a French newspaper.

Cisco is reportedly dissatisfied with the way the partnership between the two companies is going, according to Le Figaro. Cisco entered into the partnership pact with the huge European telecommunications equipment provider last year.

"It will be difficult to maintain our cooperation with Alcatel between now and two years. Alcatel is a company with which a partnership is delicate," the paper quoted Mike Volpi, vice president of acquisitions at Cisco in San Jose, as saying.

"Everybody is a small supplier for Alcatel. That is okay when you are small but it becomes difficult when you have grown," he added.

The comments come amid a downturn in Alcatel's near-term fiscal fortunes.

Cisco originally signed up with Alcatel to shore up its position in Europe. The data networking giant has used partnerships to further its presence in markets and technology areas where it has not competed before.

Cisco is currently the subject of an inquiry by the Federal Trade Commission concerning past discussions it had with rivals Lucent Technologies and Nortel Networks, formerly Northern Telecom.

Reuters contributed to this report.