Charles Schwab Corp. said it is committed to remaining independent and has no interest in being acquired.
   "We have no interest in selling the company," the company's chairman and CEO, Charles R. Schwab, said in a statement released today.
   "We remain firmly committed to our independence, and believe we serve stockholders best by continuing Schwab's strategy as an independent company, focused on providing clients with great service at great value."
   The statement was an apparent attempt to quash any speculation that Schwab could be a takeover target, at a time when the online discount brokerage industry is undergoing consolidation.
   Analysts are expecting further mergers and acquisitions in the industry after the announcement last month of a $2.9 billion deal that will result in Ameritrade buying TD Waterhouse USA from parent company Toronto-Dominion Bank.
   Among the companies thought to be looking to expand through a sale or merger is E*Trade Financial Group, which had been eyeing a possible purchase of Ameritrade before the TD Waterhouse acquisition was announced.

-Raymond Fazzi