John Spence in MarketWatch on the PowerShares/Amvescap deal:
At first glance, the AIM/PowerShares marriage appears to make sense. AIM immediately becomes the second-largest ETF provider in terms of number of offerings behind Barclays, and in an area it believes will nicely complement its adviser-sold active funds... "Financial advisers are looking for a full array of choices including mutual funds and ETFs," said Mark Williamson, chief executive at AIM Investments. However, the firm has struggled in recent years, burdened with growth stocks lagging and a $375 million regulatory settlement by Amvescap over improper mutual-fund trading in its AIM and Invesco units.
On the other hand, PowerShares receives a healthy cash infusion and perhaps a solution to one of its biggest challenges: distribution...
In an unusual move, PowerShares had initially floated the idea of introducing sales charges, or "loads," for its ETFs, but the Securities and Exchange Commission has yet to approve the structure. After the Amvescap deal, Bond said the load idea will probably go to the scrap heap even if it does pass regulatory muster.