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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. To Extend the Pilot Period for Nasdaq PostData and the Associated Fees Assessed under NASD Rule 7010(s)

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Start Preamble April 4, 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 March 27, 2003, the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (“NASD”), through its subsidiary, The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. (“Nasdaq”), 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 Nasdaq. Nasdaq filed the proposal pursuant to section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act,[3] and rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder,[4] 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

NASD proposes to extend through September 30, 2003, the pilot period for Nasdaq PostData and the associated fees assessed under NASD rule 7010(s). Nasdaq is making no substantive changes to the pilot program, other than to extend its operation through September 30, 2003. The text of the proposed rule change is available at Nasdaq and at the Commission. Start Printed Page 17715

II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

In its filing with the Commission, Nasdaq 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. Nasdaq 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

On January 11, 2002, the Commission approved, as a 12-month pilot, the creation of Nasdaq PostData, a voluntary trading data distribution facility, accessible to NASD members, buy-side institutions, and market data vendors through the NasdaqTrader.com Web site.[5] On January 17, 2003, Nasdaq extended that pilot through February 28, 2003.[6] On March 14, 2003, Nasdaq reestablished the pilot, and extended its operation through March 31, 2003.[7] Nasdaq now proposes to extend the pilot through September 30, 2003. Nasdaq proposes no other changes to the pilot at this time.

2. Statutory Basis

Nasdaq believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of section 15A(b)(5) [8] and 15A(b)(6) [9] of the Act. Section 15A(b)(5) requires the equitable allocation of reasonable fees and charges among members and other users of facilities operated or controlled by a national securities association. Section 15A(b)(6) requires rules that foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in facilitating transactions in securities and that are not designed to permit unfair discrimination between customers, issuers, brokers or dealers. Nasdaq believes that this program involves a reasonable fee assessed only to users and other persons utilizing the system and will provide useful information to all direct and indirect subscribers on a non-discriminatory basis.

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

Nasdaq does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in 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

Written comments were neither solicited nor 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 [10] and rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[11] 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.

Nasdaq has asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay. The Commission believes waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. Such waiver will allow the pilot to operate without interruption through September 30, 2003. For these reasons, the Commission designates the proposal to be effective and operative upon filing with the Commission.[12]

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 NASD. All submissions should refer to file number SR-NASD-2003-60 and should be submitted by May 1, 2003.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[13]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

4.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). The Commission waived the five-day pre-filing notice requirement.

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5.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 45270 (January 11, 2002), 67 FR 2712 (January 18, 2002) (SR-NASD-99-12).

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6.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 47210 (January 17, 2003), 68 FR 3912 (January 27, 2003) (SR-NASD-2003-02).

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7.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 47503 (March 14, 2003), 68 FR 13745 (March 20, 2003) (SR-NASD-2003-35) (Proposal to reestablish pilot retroactive to March 1, 2003, and extend its operation through March 31, 2003).

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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).

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[FR Doc. 03-8808 Filed 4-9-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P