When shares of Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCH) were halted yesterday, it was easy to expect another blockbuster merger in the discount brokerage business. After Ameritrade (NASDAQ:AMTD) agreed to acquire Toronto Dominion's (NYSE:TD) TD Waterhouse subsidiary last month in an all-stock deal, more consolidation was a given.

Schwab shares had risen earlier in the day as the rumors made the rounds. Would E*Trade (NYSE:ET) make a play on the market leader, even though it came up empty when it made an unsolicited offer to buy Ameritrade earlier this year?

So what did Schwab have to say? Was there another wedding about to take place in the hot financial services arena? Was the bridal registry available online?

"We have no interest in selling the company," read a statement in a press release that Schwab aptly titled "Schwab Committed to Independence" yesterday afternoon.

With 3.2 million active accounts, it's easy to see why any of Schwab's rivals would want to hook up with it. The company's shares are trading at a quarter of what they fetched when trading peaked six years ago. So it's not as if the company were about to revisit its all-time highs on its own anytime soon.

Consolidation in the trading space has been happening at a frenzied pace lately. It's not just the brokers. The exchanges, too, have been getting in on the action. Just check out what's going on these days with Chicago Mercantile (NYSE:CME), Nasdaq (NASDAQ:NDAQ), and Archipelago Holdings (NYSE:AX).

In fact, Archipelago has more than doubled since being singled out in our Rule Breakers newsletter service earlier this year after it announced it would merge with the New York Stock Exchange.

When it comes to discount brokers, let's hope they hook up within reason. Our updated Broker Center is a popular landing page because it compares the commissions and fees from participating discount-broker sponsors. That kind of competition is healthy. It keeps trading costs low for individual investors.

So it's OK if Independence Day came a few days late for Chuckie Schwab. As an investor, it's always nice to know you have options out there.

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz won't be making an unsolicited offer to buy any discount brokerage outright, though he may consider buying shares in some of the players in the future. He does not currently own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.