Acquisition fever blazes at Lucent, Cisco

- Lucent Technologies and Cisco Systems each announced acquisitions this week, continuing the trend of large vendors gobbling up smaller companies in the ever-competitive networking market.

Lucent said it has bought MassMedia Communications, a privately-held startup that develops network interoperability software. Lucent uses MassMedia software in its PacketStar ATM (asynchronous transfer mode) access products that connect ISDN (integrated services digital network) and ATM networks.

The deal is Lucent's fifth acquisition since last September when it launched an intensive strategy designed to boost networking performance.

Rival Cisco is acquiring Summa Four, a programmable switch provider, for a value of $US116 million.