The recent bid for Ameritrade by rival E*Trade Financial put the online brokerage world on the front page, as two of the largest firms in the business involved in a potential merger might say something about the current state of the brokerage industry.
Since the heyday of click-through trading in the late 1990s, business at the virtual transaction houses has withered. But with millions of customers, the cheaper dealers aren't going away. Consolidation and broad product offerings keep the ball rolling.
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