Find the latest episode of "The Uncertain Hour" here. Listen


Ashley Milne-Tyte Aug 22, 2007


Scott Jagow: Online brokerages Ameritrade and E*Trade are talking about a merger. Well, at least behind closed doors they are, and according to the Wall Street Journal. Ashley Milne-Tyte looks at what a deal might mean.

Ashley Milne-Tyte: E*Trade and TD Ameritrade have talked about getting together at various times over the last few years, but the union has never worked out.

The two companies lag behind larger online brokers like Charles Schwab and Merrill Lynch when it comes to the number of customer accounts.

Adam Honore of the Aite Group says a merger of these two could be good for customers across the board.

Adam Honore: When you’re talking about service models being key to the current investor lifestyle, creating somebody else in the space that knows how to operate in a cost effective manner to compete with the other large full-service firms brings their prices down.

Two hedge funds that own large chunks of Ameritrade want to see the firm more competitive too. They’ve been publicly pressing for the talks with E*Trade.

In New York, I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

Marketplace is on a mission.

We believe Main Street matters as much as Wall Street, economic news is made relevant and real through human stories, and a touch of humor helps enliven topics you might typically find…well, dull.

Through the signature style that only Marketplace can deliver, we’re on a mission to raise the economic intelligence of the country—but we don’t do it alone. We count on listeners and readers like you to keep this public service free and accessible to all. Will you become a partner in our mission today?

Your donation is critical to the future of public service journalism. Support our work today – for as little as $5 – and help us keep making people smarter.