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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change by the American Stock Exchange LLC Relating to Options Transaction Fees for Non-Member Broker-Dealers

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble May 3, 2000.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] notice is hereby give that on April 7, 2000, the American Stock Exchange LLC (“Amex” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule Start Printed Page 30155change as described in Items I, II, and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

The Amex proposes to increase equity options transaction fees for non-member broker dealer orders.

II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

In its filing with the Commission, the Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed any comments it received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in Sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspect of such statements.

A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose

The Amex proposes to increase equity options transaction fees for non-member broker-dealer orders. The Amex currently imposes a transaction charge on options trades executed on the Exchange. The charges vary depending on whether the transaction involves an equity or index option and whether the transaction is executed for a specialist or market maker account, a member firm's proprietary account, a non-member broker-dealer, or a customer account. The Amex also imposes a charge for clearance of options trades and an options floor brokerage charge, which also depends upon the type of account for which the trade is executed. In addition, all three types for charges—transaction, options clearance, and options floor brokerage—are subject to caps on the number of options contracts subject to the charges on a given day.[3]

Recently, the Amex eliminated all options transaction, clearance, and floor brokerage fees for customer equity options orders.[4] To offset the elimination of these fees for customer equity options orders, the Exchange raised the equity options transaction fee from $0.07 to $0.19 per contract side for member firm proprietary orders and from $0.08 to $0.17 per contract side for specialist and market maker orders. Now, to further offset the elimination of options transaction, clearance and brokerage fees for customer equity option orders, the Exchange proposes to increase the equity options transaction fee for non-member broker-dealer orders from $0.07 to $0.19 per contract side. This revised fee will also apply to both LEAPS 5 and FLEX 6 options. Equity options clearance and floor brokerage fees for non-member-dealers will remain unchanged at $0.04 and $0.03 per contract side, respectively.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act [7] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(4) [8] in particular, in that it provides for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among its members and other persons using its facilities.

B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statements on Burden on Competition

The Amex does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any burden on competition.

C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others

The Exchange has neither solicited nor received comments on the proposed rule change.

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

Within 35 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding, or (ii) as to which the Exchange consents, the Commission will:

(A) By order approve such rule change, or

(B) Institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.

IV. Solicitation of Comments

Interested person are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Persons making written submissions should file six copies thereof with the Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20549-0609. Copies of the submission, all subsequent amendments, all written statements with respect to the proposed rule change that are filed with the Commission, and all written communications relating to the proposed rule change between the Commission and any person, other than those that may be withheld from the public in accordance with the provisions of 5 U.S.C. 552, will be available for inspection and copying at the Commission's Public Reference Room. Copies of such filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. All submissions should refer to the File No. SR-Amex-00-18 and should be submitted by May 31, 2000.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division on Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[9]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  The current caps are set at 2000 contracts for customer trades and 3000 contracts for member firm proprietary, non-member broker-dealer, specialist, and market maker trades.

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4.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 42675, (April 13, 2000). 65 FR 21223 (April 20, 2000).

5.  LEAPS are Long Term Equity Anticipation Securities or options with durations of up to 36 months. See Amex Rule 903C.

6.  FLEX options are customized options with individually specified terms such as strike price, expiration date, and exercise style. See Amex Rule 900G.

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[FR Doc. 00-11607 Filed 5-9-00; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-M