RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK, N.C. — Nortel reportedly is in talks to acquire Force10 Networks, according to The Deal and Bloomberg News.

Force10, which is based in California, is a manufacturer of high-end 10-gigabit speed Ethernet switching and routing gear.

Bloomberg quoted an analyst as saying Nortel might pay as much as $550 million for Force10.

The company was founded in 1999 by Marc Randall, a seven-year veteran of Cisco Systems.

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