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Notice

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

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Start Preamble August 14, 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 July 30, 2003, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc. (“CBOE” 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 Exchange. CBOE has designated the proposed rule change as constituting a “non-controversial” rule change under Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act,[3] and paragraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 under the Act,[4] which renders the proposal effective upon receipt of this filing by the Commission.[5] 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

CBOE proposes to make a change to its Fee Schedule to refund certain telecommunication fees that were collected from members and member organizations during 2002 in anticipation of the need to fund a new trading floor telecommunications system. 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 CBOE 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 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

CBOE proposes to make a change to its Fee Schedule to refund certain telecommunication fees that were collected from members and member organizations during 2002 in anticipation of the need to fund a new trading floor telecommunications system. In SR-CBOE-2002-71,[6] the Exchange amended its Fee Schedule, effective January 1, 2003, to reduce certain of its telecommunications fees due to its decision to defer a previously planned purchase of a new trading floor telephone system. 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.) In SR-CBOE-2002-71, the Exchange also indicated that it intended to file a separate proposed rule filing that would refund the increased telecommunications fees that were collected during 2002 to the members and member organizations that paid them. This filing effectuates that refund.

2. Statutory Basis

CBOE believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of Section 6(b) of the Act [7] in general, and with Section 6(b)(4) of the Act [8] 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

CBOE 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. Start Printed Page 50204

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

Because the proposed rule change: (i) Does not significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) does not impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) does not become operative for 30 days (or such shorter time as the Commission may designate if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest) after the date of the filing, the proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [9] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[10] At any time within 60 days of the filing of such 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.

The Commission has decided, consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, to waive the five-day pre-filing notice and 30-day operative date to allow CBOE to immediately refund the increased telecommunications fees that were collected during 2002 to the members and member organizations that paid them.[11]

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 CBOE. All submissions should refer to file number SR-CBOE-2003-32, and should be submitted by September 10, 2003.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[12]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(iii).

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5.  The CBOE has requested that the Commission waive both the five-day pre-filing notification requirement and the 30-day operative delay, as specified in Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii). 17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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6.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 47171 (January 13, 2003), 68 FR 2594 (January 17, 2003) (order approving File No. SR-CBOE-2002-71).

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11.  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. 03-21307 Filed 8-19-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P