August 31, 2012
Jefferson City, Mo. – Attorney General Chris Koster today announced agreements with online retail brokers E*Trade and TradeKing as part of a multi-state investigation into potential violations of antitrust law in the retail securities brokerage industry.
The investigation focuses on conduct by several retail securities brokers and execution firms, which may have hindered competition in the retail securities brokerage industry. The agreements with E*Trade and TradeKing mark the third and fourth resolutions that the Attorney General and his partner states have reached in their fourteen-month investigation. Settlements were previously reached with Scottrade, Inc. in March and TD Ameritrade Holding Corporation in July.
E*Trade and TradeKing agreed to continue cooperating with the investigation and to implement an employee antitrust compliance program. Both companies also agreed to pay $200,000 total to the states for the costs of the investigation.
“I am committed to keeping the marketplace fair and open for all consumers,” Koster said. “These settlements serve as a reminder to businesses to play by the rules and to commit to practices that foster competition.”
The multi-state investigation began shortly after NASDAQ OMX Corporate Solutions, Inc. and Loyal3 Holdings, Inc. discontinued the partnership they had announced on June 2, 2011. Loyal3 offers retail investors a fee-free online platform to purchase securities and fractional shares of publicly traded companies directly from the companies themselves, without the need for traditional online retail brokers.
Neither Nasdaq nor Loyal3 are the subject of the Attorney General’s investigation.