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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated Relating to Reducing Certain Telecommunication Fees

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Start Preamble January 13, 2003.

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 26, 2002, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Incorporated (“CBOE” 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. CBOE 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 make a change to its fee schedule to reduce certain of its telecommunications fees.[4] The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Office of the Secretary, CBOE 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. CBOE 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 proposes to amend its Fee Schedule to reduce certain of its telecommunications fees effective January 1, 2003, due to its decision to defer a previously planned purchase of a new trading floor telephone system, for which these telecommunications rates had been raised by approximately 50% at the start of calendar year 2002 (this increase had previously been reduced by approximately 60% in May 2002). The new rates reduce the fees to a level approximately 10% higher than they were at the end of calendar year 2001, which will help offset increasing Exchange costs in this area. The Start Printed Page 2595Exchange has informed the Commission that it also intends to file a separate proposed rule filing that will rebate the increased telecommunications fees that were collected during 2002 to the members and member organizations that paid them.[5]

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposal is consistent with section 6(b) of the Act [6] in general and furthers the objectives of section 6(b)(4) of the Act [7] in particular in that it is designed to provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among CBOE members.

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 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

Because the foregoing rule change establishes or changes a due, fee, or other charge imposed by the Exchange, it has become effective pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act and subparagraph (f) of rule 19b-4 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.

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 CBOE. All submissions should refer to file number SR-CBOE-2002-71 and should be submitted by February 7, 2003.

Start Signature

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

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

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4.  All telecommunications fees referred to herein are applicable only to members of the Exchange. Telephone conversation between Chris Hill, Attorney II, CBOE, and Gordon Fuller, Counsel to the Assistant Director, Division of Market Regulation, Commission and Ian Patel, Attorney, Division of Market Regulation, Commission (January 9, 2003).

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5.  Telephone conversation between Chris Hill, Attorney II, CBOE, and Gordon Fuller, Counsel to the Assistant Director, Division of Market Regulation, Commission and Ian Patel, Attorney, Division of Market Regulation, Commission (January 9, 2003).

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[FR Doc. 03-1106 Filed 1-16-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P