“This would create a Goliath in wealth management,” Mike Mayo, a Wells Fargo analyst, told the FT. Schwab is the country’s largest discount broker, and TD Ameritrade is No. 2.
Consolidation in the industry is a “logical conclusion,” Charles Schwab, the founder of his namesake company, told CNBC last month. Schwab and TD Ameritrade have been forced to reduce their trading fees to zero as they face challenges from start-ups like Robinhood, an app-based trading platform.
In fact, scrapping stock trading fees might have helped Schwab, Matt Levine of Bloomberg Opinion notes. Its decision in September to eliminate them essentially forced TD Ameritrade to do so, also — but the fees account for just 7 percent of Schwab’s revenue, versus 36 percent of Ameritrade’s. That means TD Ameritrade’s stock and valuation took a bigger hit than Schwab’s, presumably making the purchase more affordable.
Could Facebook limit targeting of political ads?
The social network may soon become the latest of the major U.S. tech platforms to tighten up on digital political advertising, according to a report by Emily Glazer of the WSJ.
• “Facebook is discussing increasing the minimum number of people who can be targeted in political ads on its platform from 100 to a few thousand, according to people familiar with the matter.”
• “The potential move is part of an effort to make it less easy for advertisers to microtarget.”
It would be a concession by Facebook if it takes effect. Mark Zuckerberg has strenuously defended Facebook’s now weeks-old policy of letting politicians post any claims they want — even false ones — in ads. But that decision has been heavily criticized, especially over the way those ads can be tightly targeted to small groups of individuals so they are not seen by the broader public.
Other companies have already taken some action. Google this week announced that advertisers would no longer be able to target political messages based on users’ interests inferred from their browsing or search histories. And Twitter is to stop accepting most political ads.