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E*Trade to Buy BrownCo

The deal is valued at $1.6 billion.
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The consolidating online brokerage industry saw another takeout Thursday morning, this time with


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disclosing plans to buy BrownCo, part of

J.P. Morgan Chase

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E*Trade said the acquisition is valued at $1.6 billion in cash. After completing the integration, E*Trade expects the deal to add 7 cents a share to its earnings on a full-year basis.

The disappearance of independent discount brokers is hardly new. Earlier this year, E*Trade tried to merge with rival brokerage

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, but that proposed deal didn't come to fruition. Afterward, in August, the company laid out a plan to buy the U.S. online brokerage operations of Harrisdirect.

E*Trade's bid to join forces with Ameritrade ended in June when Ameritrade reached a pact to buy TD Waterhouse from

Toronto Dominion

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Going back two years, Ameritrade acquired Datek, and prior to that the company had bought National Discount Brokers in 2001.

Shares of E*Trade were rising 52 cents, or 3%, to $16.85 in premarket trading.