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Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. To Increase the Transaction Charge for Off-Floor Broker-Dealer Orders Delivered via AUTOM and Executed via AUTO-X

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December 30, 2002.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] and Rule 19b-4[2] thereunder, notice is hereby given that on December 16, 2002, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. (“Exchange” or “Phlx”) submitted to 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 Phlx. 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 Phlx proposes to amend its schedule of dues, fees and charges to increase the off-floor broker-dealer equity option transaction charge from $.35 per contract to $.45 per contract for orders delivered through the Phlx Automated Options Market (“AUTOM”) System, and automatically executed by the Exchange's Automatic Execution System (“AUTO-X”).[3] The $.45 per contract transaction charge applicable to off-floor broker-dealer orders entered via AUTOM and executed via AUTO-X will apply to transactions in equity options only.[4] The option transaction charge applicable to off-floor broker-dealer orders not executed by AUTO-X remains at $.35 per contract. The Exchange intends to implement this fee on transactions settling on or after January 2, 2003.

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 Phlx 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 Start Printed Page 842prepared 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 purpose of the proposed rule change is to raise revenue for the Exchange by charging a $.45 transaction charge for off-floor broker-dealer orders that are delivered via AUTOM and executed automatically via AUTO-X.

Currently, the Exchange charges a fee of $.35 per contract for all off-floor broker-dealer transactions, regardless of how such an order is executed. The $.35 charge will continue to apply to off-floor broker-dealer orders not executed by AUTO-X.

The $.35 charge for non-AUTO-X transactions and the $.45 charge for AUTO-X transactions apply to members for orders, received from other than the floor of the Exchange, for any account (i) in which the holder of beneficial interest is a member or non-member broker-dealer or (ii) in which the holder of beneficial interest is a person associated with or employed by a member or non-member broker-dealer. Accordingly, an order for the account of an ROT entered from off-floor would be subject to one of the two charges.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that its proposal to amend its schedule of dues, fees and charges is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act [5] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(4) of the Act [6] in particular, in that it is an equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among Exchange members relating to the automatic execution of off-floor broker-dealer orders.

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

The Phlx 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

The foregoing proposed rule change has been designated as a fee change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act [7] and Rule 19b-4(f)(2) [8] thereunder. Accordingly, the proposal will take effect upon filing with the Commission. 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 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 Phlx.

All submissions should refer to File No. SR-Phlx-2002-78 and should be submitted by January 28, 2003.

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For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.9

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

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3.  AUTOM is the Exchange's electronic order delivery, routing, execution and reporting system, which provides for the automatic entry and routing of equity option and index option orders to the Exchange trading floor. Orders delivered through AUTOM may be executed manually, or certain orders are eligible for AUTOM's automatic execution feature, AUTO-X. Equity option and index option specialists are required by the Exchange to participate in AUTOM and its features and enhancements. Option orders entered by Exchange members into AUTOM are routed to the appropriate specialist unit on the Exchange trading floor. See Exchange Rule 1080.

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4.  This fee will be eligible for the monthly credit of up to $1,000 to be applied against certain fees, dues, charges and other amounts owed to the Exchange by certain members. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 44292 (May 11, 2001), 66 FR 27715 (May 18, 2001) (SR-Phlx-2001-49).

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7.  15 U.S.C. 78(s)(b)(3)(A)(ii).

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[FR Doc. 03-270 Filed 1-6-03; 8:45 am]