Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen today announced an agreement with online retail broker TD Ameritrade. The agreement was reached as part of a multistate investigation into potential violations of antitrust law in the retail securities brokerage industry.
The agreement with TD Ameritrade marks the second resolution that the states have reached in their ongoing investigation.
The investigation focuses on possibly collusive conduct by several retail securities brokers and firms that assist the brokers in executing their orders on an exchange, which may have hindered competition in the retail brokerage industry.
TD Ameritrade agreed to cooperate with the inquiry and in any legal actions that may result. The company also agreed to create and implement an antitrust compliance policy and training program for TD Ameritrade employees. In exchange, Connecticut and its partner states have closed their investigation into TD Ameritrade and its employees.
Level playing field
“I am committed to ensuring open and competitive markets for all investors, regardless of the size of their portfolio, as well as a level playing field for businesses that provide services to those consumers,” Attorney General Jepsen said. “This investigation is important to achieving those goals.”
Jepsen credited TD Ameritrade for the company’s continued cooperation. “TD Ameritrade’s agreement to cooperate will provide substantial assistance to the ongoing investigation,” Jepsen added.
The multistate 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 retail brokers.
Neither Nasdaq nor Loyal3 is the subject of the Attorney General’s investigation.