Cisco Systems has emerged unscathed from a US government investigation into alleged anti-competitive behaviour by the networking giant.
The Federal Trade Commission said today it had ended its investigation, launched last September, into partnership talks Cisco had with rival vendors Nortel Networks and Lucent Technologies that could have dramatically reshaped the networking market.
Today's decision saves Cisco from having to face a humiliating public investigation. Microsoft and Intel are both under the scrutiny of US regulators and Microsoft's very public trial has often proved embarrassing for the company.
Cisco has admitted holding the discussions last year, but both rivals are known to have expressed disinterest in its proposals.
Talking last year, John Chambers, Cisco's chief executive said: "We talked about a partnership to develop products and ideas. But they did not want it. I still think we should have done it."
In a statement today, Cisco general counsel Dan Scheinman welcomed the decision.
"We're pleased with the FTC decision. Cisco took the FTC's question seriously and fully cooperated with this routine inquiry. Cisco respects the important role the FTC plays," he said.
Cisco's sales grew 31.3 per cent during its fiscal 1998 and net income hit $1.3 billion. In its most recent quarter ended 31 January, 1999, Cisco reported net profit of $288 million on turnover of $2.8 billion.
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