Regulators, competition and technology are starting to put pressure on mutual fund companies to examine what they pay broker/dealers in commissions for their funds' trades.

An SEC fact-finding examination of trading practices, the use of electronic communications networks, or ECNs, for trading and competition ultimately may help reduce the expenses funds incur to buy and sell stocks, according to mutual fund executives and regulators. That scrutiny of commission costs seems likely to increase in the coming weeks.

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