Charles Schwab (SCHW) - Get Report said the Justice Department's antitrust division closed its investigation of the online broker's proposed acquisition of TD Ameritrade (AMTD) - Get Report, paving the way for the roughly $26 billion deal to proceed.
Both financial-services companies' shares at last check were climbing, Schwab by 1.7% to $40.17 and TD Ameritrade 4.7% to $43.31.
The two companies now expect the acquisition to close in the second half. The transaction calls for Schwab to pay out 1.0837 shares for each share of TD Ameritrade.
"We are pleased to be clearing an important milestone in our planned acquisition of TD Ameritrade and look forward to today’s scheduled votes by the stockholders of our two companies, which represent another important step toward completion of the transaction,” Schwab President and CEO Walt Bettinger said in a statement.
Integration is expected to take 18 to 36 months following the close, Schwab said.
A combined Schwab and TD Ameritrade would have more than $5 trillion of assets and more than 24 million clients.
Charles Schwab formally agreed to acquire its rival in November. A month earlier, Schwab eliminated commissions for its retail clients. That set off a so-called zero-commission war that hammered the online brokerage space and caused major changes to earnings forecasts.
In April, Schwab fell short of analysts' first-quarter earnings expectations, with net income falling 18% to $795 million from $964 million a year earlier. Revenue fell to $2.62 billion from $2.72 billion in the year-earlier quarter.