Schwab, which began the horserace to lower fees, claims it has the cheapest ETFs on the market. According to Scott Burns, Morningstar's director of ETF analysis, that's true. With these cuts, Schwab ETFs cost between 6-35 basis points (BPS).
On Friday, Van Eck made another series of cuts (see "Van Eck Reduces Expense Caps on Three Market Vectors," MME 6/11/10) that brought this family of emerging markets ETFs to 65 to 75 basis points. Schawb's most expensive ETF currently is also an emerging markets fund, the Schwab Emerging Markets Equity ETF, now priced at 35 BPS.
The problem, as iShares notes, is that ETFs are being sold and priced as commodities, making it very difficult for fund complexes to operate ETFs at a profit.