On February 28, 2003, the American Stock Exchange LLC (“Amex” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”), and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, a proposed rule change to amend its fee structure to clarify which fees apply to trades pertaining to the options intermarket linkage (“Linkage”) and to specify that such fees are for a one-year pilot. On March 7, 2003, Amex submitted Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change. On March 19, 2003, Amex submitted Amendment No. 2 to the proposed rule change. On March 21, 2003, Amex submitted Amendment No. 3 to the proposed rule Start Printed Page 27116change. The Commission published the amended proposal for comment in the Federal Register on March 28, 2003. The Commission received no comments on the proposal. On May 8, 2003, Amex submitted Amendment No. 4 to the proposal. This order approves the proposal rule change, as amended by Amendments No. 1, 2, 3, and 4. The Commission also solicits comment from interested persons on Amendment No. 4.
Three Amex fees would apply to Linkage trades other than satisfaction orders: a per transaction per contract side fee of $.26; a $.05 options floor brokerage fee; and a $.05 options comparison fee. Each of these Linkage-related fees would be implemented as a one-year pilot, expiring on January 31, 2004.
The Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange  and, in particular, the requirements of Section 6 of the Act. The Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(4) of the Act, which requires that the rules of an exchange provide equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among its members and other persons using its facilities. The Commission believes the one-year pilot will give the Exchange and the Commission the opportunity to evaluate whether these fees are appropriate.
The Commission finds good cause, consistent with Section 19(b)(2) of the Act, to approve Amendment No. 4 to the proposed rule change prior to the thirtieth day after the date of publication of notice of filing thereof in the Federal Register. The Commission notes that the notice that was published in the Federal Register  indicated that the Linkage fees were subject to a one-year pilot and Amendment No. 4 merely specifies the expiration date. Therefore, Amex's proposal for the one-year pilot program to expire on January 31, 2004 was subject to notice and comment. Accordingly, the Commission believes good cause exists, pursuant to Sections 6(b)(5) and 19(b) of the Act  to accelerate approval of Amendment No. 4 to the proposed rule change.
Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views and arguments concerning Amendment No. 4, including whether it 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 No. SR-Amex-2003-14 and should be submitted by June 9, 2003.
It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act, that the proposed rule change (SR-Amex-2003-14), as amended, is approved on a pilot basis until January 31, 2004.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
Jill M. Peterson,
3. See letter from Jeffrey P. Burns, Assistant General Counsel, Amex, to Jennifer Lewis, Attorney, Division of Market Regulation (“Division”), Commission, dated March 6, 2003 (“Amendment No. 1”).Back to Citation
4. See letter from Jeffrey P. Burns, Assistant General Counsel, Amex, to Jennifer Lewis, Attorney, Division, Commission, dated March 18, 2003 (“Amendment No. 2”).Back to Citation
5. See letter from Jeffrey P. Burns, Assistant General Counsel, Amex, to Jennifer Lewis, Attorney, Division, Commission, dated March 20, 2003 (“Amendment No. 3”).Back to Citation
7. See letter from Jeffrey P. Burns, Assistant General Counsel, Amex, to Jennifer Lewis, Attorney, Division, Commission, dated May 8, 2003 (“Amendment No. 4”). In Amendment No. 4, Amex proposes to amend its fee schedule to clarify that the one-year pilot program for Linkage fees expires on January 31, 2004.Back to Citation
8. In approving this proposed rule change, the Commission notes that it has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).Back to Citation
12. See supra note 6.Back to Citation
15. CFR 200.30-3(a)(12).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 03-12455 Filed 5-16-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P