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agreed to acquire


, a provider of direct access trade execution and software designed for active traders, for about $67.3 million in stock.

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Shares of Ameritrade fell 16 cents, or 1.7%, to $8.81 in recent



TradeCast's customer base consists of about 60 broker/dealer, hedge fund and money management customers, which Ameritrade said will complement its own existing institutional offerings.

Ameritrade, which is based in Omaha, Neb., will swap 7.5 million shares for TradeCast. Ameritrade, an online broker, may add 750,000 shares to the acquisition price, depending on TradeCast's future performance. Ameritrade expects to close the transaction in 30 to 60 days, after receiving the necessary regulatory approvals.

TradeCast is based in Houston. Ameritrade plans to keep the company's 90 employees.