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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. Relating to the Increase of Equity Option Transaction Fees

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Start Preamble June 12, 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 May 30, 2003, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. (“Phlx” or “Exchange”) 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 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 applicable to equity option transactions. The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Office of the Secretary, the Phlx, 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 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 Start Printed Page 36861in item IV below and is set forth in sections A, B, and C below.

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

1. Purpose

The Phlx proposes to amend its schedule of dues, fees and charges applicable to equity options by increasing: (1) The Firm/Proprietary transaction charge from $.15 per contract to $.20 per contract; (2) the Firm/Proprietary Facilitation transaction charge from $.08 per contract to $.10 per contract; (3) the Registered Options Trader (on-floor) transaction charge from $.16 per contract to $.19 per contract; and (4) the Specialist transaction charge from $.18 per contract to $.21 per contract (the “Amended Fees”).[3] The Amended Fees are scheduled to be implemented on transactions settling on or after June 1, 2003. In addition, the Exchange proposes to delete the text of footnote 9 of its schedule of dues, fees, and charges, which inadvertently was not changed when amendments were made to the Firm/Proprietary Facilitation transaction charge in May 2002.[4]

The Exchange states that the purpose of the proposed fee changes to the Firm/Proprietary transaction charge, the Firm/Proprietary Facilitation transaction charge, the Registered Option trader (on-floor) transaction charge, and the Specialist transaction charge is to raise revenue for the Exchange from equity options transactions, which the Exchange believes should help offset rising Exchange costs associated with maintaining a competitive marketplace for its members and investors.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that its proposed rule change 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, as it raises the equity option transaction fee for many users.

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

The Exchange 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) thereunder.[8] 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 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 Phlx. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-Phlx-2003-38 and should be submitted by July 10, 2003.

Start Signature

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

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  These equity option transaction charges had heretofore been eligible for a monthly credit of up to $1,000 to be applied against certain fees, dues and 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). This credit program expired effective May 2003. The Exchange intends to file a separate proposed rule change to remove references to the member credit throughout the entire schedule of dues, fees and charges.

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4.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 45942 (May 16, 2002), 67 FR 36060 (May 22, 2002) (SR-Phlx-2002-32).

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7.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

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[FR Doc. 03-15502 Filed 6-18-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P