From its beginning in 1792, commissions for trading
on the New York Stock Exchange were enormous, and fixed to a
Byzantine rate card of quantities, rates, and values.
However, in the 1960s and 1970s, threats of anti-trust action
prompted negotiated commissions and, since 1975, the costs of
buying stocks in the U.S. markets have been in a steady
downtrend, with institutional rates falling to just pennies
per share by 2008.