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E-Trade, TD Waterhouse Call Off Merger Talks

January 21, 2004|From Associated Press

Two of the biggest online brokerages, E-Trade Financial Corp. and TD Waterhouse, said they had ended talks about combining their operations.

"Both companies agree that while there were potential benefits to concluding a transaction that merited serious discussion, they were unable to arrive at mutually agreeable terms," the companies said in a news release Sunday.

The companies confirmed last week that they were talking about a possible combination.

E-Trade shares on Tuesday rose 20 cents to $15.15 on the NYSE. Shares in TD Waterhouse's parent, Toronto Dominion Bank, rose 2.6% on the Toronto Stock Exchange on Tuesday after falling 3.8% a day earlier.

A merger or acquisition involving E-Trade and Waterhouse might have created the largest online brokerage, leapfrogging Charles Schwab Corp. As of Sept. 30, Schwab had 4 million active online brokerage accounts. E-Trade and Waterhouse have more than 6 million accounts between them.

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