updated 1/20/2004 8:37:46 AM ET 2004-01-20T13:37:46

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

Major Market Indices

In a news release, the two companies said they had agreed to abandon negotiations.

“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 release said.

The companies confirmed last week that they were talking about a possible combination, although they refused to release details.

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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