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 February 4, 2002, 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 Exchange filed the proposal pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act, and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder, which renders the proposal effective upon filing with the Commission. 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 amend Amex Rule 393 relating to transaction fees pursuant to section 31 of the Act. The text of the proposed rule change is below. New text is in italics; deletions are in brackets.
Rule 393. Securities and Exchange Commission Transaction Fee
There shall be paid to the Exchange by each member or member organization in such manner and at such time as the Treasurer of the Start Printed Page 6555Exchange shall direct, the fees specified in section 31 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and rules thereunder, for all [sum of one cent for each $300 or fraction thereof of the dollar volume of the] sales upon the Exchange of securities specified in section 31 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, and rules thereunder [(other than bonds, debentures, and other evidence of indebtedness or any security which the Commission may, by rule, exempt from the imposition of the fee) (whether or not cleared by a registered clearing agency) cleared by such member or member organization]. The monies so paid to the Exchange shall be paid to the Securities and Exchange Commission as the transaction fee imposed upon the Exchange by the provisions of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.
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 its proposal and discussed any comments it received regarding the proposal. 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 Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
Section 31 of the Act  has required the remittance of a fee to the Commission of 1/300 of one percent of the aggregate dollar amount of the sale of securities. Excluded from this requirement is the sale of any bonds, debentures, or other evidences of indebtedness and any sale or class of sales of securities that the Commission may, by rule, exempt from the imposition of this fee.
Congress recently passed the “Investor and Capital Markets Relief Act” (“ICMRA”), which amends section 31 of the Act. The ICMRA reduced the fee to $15 per $1 million of the aggregate dollar amount of the sale of securities. December 28, 2001 is the effective date for this new rate. The ICMRA provides that the Commission will, twice yearly, determine the amount of any changes in the fee.
Amex Rule 393, which references the previous fee of one cent for each $300 of dollar volume, is therefore being amended to conform it to Congress' recent amendment to section 31 of the Act. Thus, members and member organizations are required to pay to the Exchange whatever fees are specified pursuant to Section 31 of the Act and the rules thereunder.
2. Statutory Basis
The Exchange believes that the proposal 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 prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
The Exchange 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
No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.
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; and
(iii) Become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, 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 Amex has requested that the Commission accelerate the operative date. The Commission finds good cause to waive the 5-day pre-filing notice requirement and the 30-day operative waiting period, because such designation is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Acceleration of the operative date will allow the Amex to immediately conform its rule to reflect the recent amendment to section 31 of the Act. For these reasons, the Commission finds good cause to waive both the 5-day pre-filing requirement and the 30-day operative waiting period.
IV. Solicitation of Comments
Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning the foregoing, including whether the proposal 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 file number SR-Amex-2002-07 and should be submitted by March 5, 2002.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
Margaret H. McFarland,
5. The Exchange asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay. See Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii). 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).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. 02-3302 Filed 2-11-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P