Often lauded for its buyout successes, Cisco has purchased more than 70 companies in the past eight years. In 1999 alone, it paid $15 billion for 18 startups, many of which never delivered on their early promise. Here are the most noteworthy:


CERENT $6.9 Alive and Although Cerent has generated $1 billion well billion in estimated sales for Cisco, two decades could be needed to recoup the steep price.

PIRELLI $2.2 Alive but A disappointing attempt to bolster OPTICAL billion struggling Cisco's long-haul optical networking. SYSTEMS But Pirelli's technology still trails that of rivals.

MONTEREY $500 Dumped This upstart optical company never NETWORKS million in April produced a viable product, and Cisco cut its losses with a $108 million write-off in April.

AMTEVA $170 Sold at a Lackluster revenue forced Cisco to million loss in July sell this unified-messaging business.

MAXCOMM $143 Part of their Founders and key technologists walked TECHNOLOGIES million DSL strategy out soon after the deal closed.

Data: BusinessWeek

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