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E*Trade to buy BrownCo for $1.6bn

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E*Trade Financial is blowing $1.6bn in cash to acquire BrownCo - the online brokerage service of JPMorgan Chase & Co.

the addition of BrownCo's 200,000 customers will take the total number of E*Trade customer accounts to almost 4.3m.

Together, the enlarged financial group will hold around $160bn in customer assets and customer cash and deposits of $27bn.

The acquisition of BrownCo is part of E*Trade's eagerness to grow the business in this "fast-consolidating industry".

Last month E*Trade announced plans to splash out $700m in cash to buy Canada-based rival Harrisdirect. The transaction, which still needs the usual regulatory rubber stamps, is expected to close by October. ®

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