Pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”)  and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, notice is hereby given that on June 28, 2001, the American Stock Exchange LLC (“Amex” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change 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 withdraw its participation in the Joint-Exchange Options Plan (“JEOP”) effective upon the approved by the Commission of the Options Listing Procedures Plan (“OLPP”).
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 Amex 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 Amex has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of the most significant aspects of such statements.
A. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
In September 1991, the Commission approved the JEOP, which provided specific procedures for the selecting, listing, challenging, and arbitrating the eligibility of new standardized equity options. At the end of last year, the current options exchanges  and the Options Clearing Corporations (“OCC”) began discussions on replacing the JEOP. On January 11, 2001, the five Start Printed Page 40757options exchanges and the OCC submitted the OLPP, which sets forth new procedures for the listing and trading of standardized options. In may instances the new procedures set forth in the OLPP conflict with procedures in the JEOP. On July 6, 2001, the Commission approved the OLPPP and its procedures now govern the listing and trading of standardized options. Therefore, participation in the JEOP is now unnecessary and inappropriate. Consequently, the Exchange proposes to withdraw from participation in the JEOP.
2. Statutory Basis
The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act  in general and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5)  in particular in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, remove impediments to a free and open market and a national market system, and protect investors and the public interest.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
The Amex does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose any inappropriate burden on competition.
C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others
No written comments were either solicited or received.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
Because the foregoing proposed rule change does not: (i) Significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; (iii) become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate; and the Exchange has given the Commission written notice of its intention to file the proposed rule change at least five business days prior to filing, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act  and Rule 19b-4(f)(6 ) thereunder. At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission may summarily abrogate such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.
The Exchange has requested that the Commission accelerate the operative date and to waive the five day pre-filing requirement so that the proposed rule change may take effect upon approval of the OLPP by the Commission. The Commission believes that it is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest and therefore finds good cause to accelerate the operative date of the proposed rule change and to waive the five day pre-filing requirement. Acceleration of the operative date and waiving the pre-filing requirement will permit the Exchange to implement the OLPP without undue delay. For these reasons, the Commission finds good cause to designate that the proposal became operative immediately upon Commission approval of the OLPP.
IV. Solicitation of Comments
Interested persons 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, NW., Washington, DC 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 in the Commission's Public Reference Room. Copies of such filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Amex. All submissions should refer to the File No. SR-Amex-2001-43 and should be submitted by August 24, 2001.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
Margaret H. McFarland,
3. The Amex, Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc. (“CBOE”), New York Stock Exchange, Inc., Pacific Exchange, Inc. (“PCX”), and Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. (“Phlx”) each filed the JEOP as a proposed rule change. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 29698 (September 17, 1991) 56 FR 48594 (September 25, 1991).Back to Citation
4. The International Securities Exchange (“ISE”), which began trading standardized options in 2000, in adopted elements of the JEOP as part of its rules.Back to Citation
5. The Commission directed the Amex, the CBOE, the PCX, and the Phlx to amend the JEOP to eliminate advance notice to other markets of the intention to list a new or existing option; to eliminate any provisions of the JEOP that prevent a market from commencing to list or trade any option listed on another market or an option that another market has expressed an intent to list; and to eliminate any provisions of the JEOP that allow one market to delay the commencement of trading of an option by another market. See Section IV.B.a of the Order Instituting Public Administrative Proceedings Pursuant to section 19(h)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, Making Findings and Imposing Sanctions, Securities Exchange Act Release No. 43268 (September 11, 2000) (“Order”).Back to Citation
6. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 44287 (May 10, 2001) 66 FR 27184 (May 16, 2001).Back to Citation
7. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 36809 (July 13, 2001).Back to Citation
12. For purposes only of accelerating the operative date of this proposal, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 01-19383 Filed 8-2-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-M