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Cisco Systems said to mull buying Nokia

LONDON -- Cisco Systems Inc. is considering buying the world's top mobile handset maker Nokia in a bid to gain its wireless infrastructure technology, the Business newspaper reported yesterday.

The paper, which did not reveal the source of its information, said US-based Cisco had traditionally concentrated on acquisitions of niche technology players, but its chief executive, John Chambers, is believed to be interested in merging with a wireless infrastructure company. Nokia has been identified as the most likely target, the paper said.

Cisco, the largest maker of Internet equipment, is worth around $123 billion, while Finland-based Nokia's market value is around $71 billion.

Cisco declined to comment. A Nokia spokeswoman in Helsinki also declined to comment.

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