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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by the American Stock Exchange LLC Relating to an Extension of a Temporary Waiver of Associate Member Fees for Persons Trading Nasdaq Securities Admitted to Unlisted Trading Privileges Through the Exchange's Electronic Order Routing Systems

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Start Preamble December 19, 2002.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] notice is hereby given that on December 16, 2002, the American Stock Exchange LLC (“Amex” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission” or “SEC”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. The Amex has designated this proposal as one establishing or changing a due, fee, or other charge imposed by the Exchange under Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act,[3] 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 Exchange proposes to extend through March 31, 2003 the waiver of: (1) Membership Dues, Initiation Fee, Application Processing Fee, Initial Registration Fee and the Electronic Access Fee for new Associate Members that trade only Nasdaq stocks through the Exchange's electronic order routing systems during the period of the waiver, and (2) the Electronic Access Fee for existing Associate Members that currently do not have electronic access privileges and that trade only Nasdaq stocks through the Exchange's electronic order routing systems during the period of the waiver.

The proposed Fee schedule is available at the Office of the Secretary of the Amex and at the Commission.

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

1. Purpose

The Exchange is proposing to extend to March 31, 2003, the temporary waiver of Associate Member and Electronic Access Fees for broker/dealer firms that currently do not have electronic access to the Amex Order File (“AOF”). The waiver currently is set to expire on December 31, 2002 and applies to firms that trade only Nasdaq stocks through the Exchange's electronic order routing systems during the period of the waiver. Broker/dealers that become Associate Members during the waiver period will not have to pay: (1) 2002 and 2003 dues applicable to Associate members, (2) Associate Member Initiation Fee, (3) Application Processing Fee, (4) Initial Registration Fee, and (5) the Electronic Access Fee. Existing Associate Members that currently do not have electronic access to AOF also could upgrade to electronic access privileges without paying the customary Electronic Access Fee provided they trade only Nasdaq stocks through the Exchange's electronic order routing systems during the period of the fee waiver.

At the end of the waiver period, firms that become Associate Members during the waiver and trade only Nasdaq stocks through AOF would have to:

(1) Acquire a regular membership and pay the fees and dues associated with becoming a regular member,

(2) Continue their Associate Membership and pay: (i) 75% of the 2003 dues, (ii) the Associate Member Initiation Fee, (iii) Application Processing Fee, (iv) the Renewal Registration Fee, and (v) 75% of the Electronic Access Fee for 2003, or

(3) Terminate their Associate Membership.

New Associate Members that terminate their Associate Membership on or prior to March 31, 2003 will not have to pay 2002 and 2003 dues, Associate Member Initiation Fee, Application Processing Fee, Initial Registration Fee and Electronic Access Fee for 2002 and 2003.

At the end of the waiver period, firms that already were Associate Members prior to the waiver and upgraded to electronic access privileges during the waiver and traded only Nasdaq stocks through AOF would have to: (1) Acquire a regular membership and pay the fees and dues associated with becoming a regular member, or (2) pay the 2003 dues and Electronic Access Fee for 2003 applicable to Associate Members. Start Printed Page 79187

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act [4] in general and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(4) of the Act [5] in particular in that it is designed to provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among Amex members and issuers and other persons using the Amex's facilities.

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

The proposed fee change will impose no burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.

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

The proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act [6] and subparagraph (f)(2) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[7] because it establishes or changes a due, fee, or other charge imposed by the Amex. 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.

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-2002-107 and should be submitted by January 17, 2003.

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[8]

Start Signature

J. Lynn Taylor,

Assistant Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

[FR Doc. 02-32796 Filed 12-26-02; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P