On June 11, 2002, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated (“CBOE” or “Exchange”) submitted to the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”), pursuant to section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, a proposed rule change amending Rule 8.85(a)(xi) and Rule 17.50 to require Exchange members to use and maintain CBOE's AutoQuote System as a back-up quoting system. On September 3, 2002 the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change. The proposed rule change was published for public comment in the Federal Register on October 3, 2002. The Commission received no comments on the proposal. This order approves the proposal, as amended.
II. Description of the Proposed Rule Change
The Exchange is adopting new Rule 8.85(a)(xi) which states that, with respect to a Designated Primary Market-Maker (“DPM”) trading station utilizing a proprietary autoquote system, such DPM is obligated to assure that the CBOE AutoQuote system is maintained as a back-up autoquote system at all times during market hours. While many DPMs utilize CBOE's AutoQuote system, some DPMs have opted to use non-CBOE proprietary automated quotation updating systems. CBOE has allowed members to employ proprietary autoquote systems provided such systems are approved by the Exchange's appropriate Floor Procedure Committee. The failure of a proprietary autoquote system could result in CBOE's inability to open for an entire group of listed Start Printed Page 69777option classes for a brief or sometimes lengthy time period. Thus, CBOE strongly encouraged, and now requires, that members have CBOE's AutoQuote system ready as a back-up should a proprietary system fail. The Exchange also proposes to add subparagraph (g)(10) to CBOE Rule 17.50—Imposition of Fines for Minor Rule Violations, to incorporate in its Minor Rule Violation Plan violations of new Rule 8.85(a)(xi).
The Commission finds that the proposed rule change, as amended, is consistent with section 6 of the Act  and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange. In particular, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with section 6(b)(5) of the Act  which requires, among other things, that the rules of the exchange be designed to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. The proposed rule change is also consistent with section 6(b)(6) of the Act, which generally requires that the Exchange provide for the appropriate discipline of its members, and Rule 19d-1(c)(2) under the Act, which governs minor rule violation plans.
The proposed rule change removes impediments to and perfects the mechanism of a free and open market because by requiring members of the Exchange to maintain CBOE's AutoQuote system as a back-up, the Exchange provides a mechanism for ensuring the smooth and uninterrupted operation of the Exchange in the event of a failure by a member's proprietary autoquote system. Without CBOE's AutoQuote system in place as a back-up, the Exchange might be unable to open trading for an entire group of listed option classes if a proprietary autoquote system fails. Requiring members to maintain CBOE's AutoQuote system as a back-up would avoid such disruptions, which in turn would benefit investors and the public interest.
The Commission also finds that adding Rule 8.85(a)(xi) to the list of violations included in the Exchange's Minor Rule Violation Plan (“Plan”) is consistent with requirements of Section 6(b)(6) of the Act  because it provides an additional option for the appropriate discipline of Exchange members. The Commission notes that while the Plan provides the Exchange with the option of proceeding under the Plan against a member found to be in violation of a rule included in the Plan, the Exchange must continue to conduct surveillance of its members and ensure their compliance with the Exchange's rules, and to proceed with formal disciplinary action if a particular case warrants such action. Finally, the Commission finds that the addition of Rule 8.85(a)(xi) to the list of violations included in the Exchange's Plan is consistent with Rule 19d-1(c)(2) under the Act, which governs minor rule violation plans because the Plan provides an efficient means to punish violations of Exchange rules, consistent with the public interest and the protection of investors.
It is therefore ordered, pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act, that the proposed rule change (SR-CBOE-2002-30), as amended, is approved.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
Margaret H. McFarland,
3. See letter from Angelou Evangelou, Senior Attorney, CBOE, to Katherine England, Assistant Director, Division of Market Regulation, Commission, dated August 30, 2002.Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 02-29315 Filed 11-18-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P