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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc.; Order Approving Proposed Rule Change and Amendment No. 1 and Notice of Filing and Order Granting Accelerated Approval to Amendment No. 3 Relating to the Limitation of Liability of the Options Clearing Corporation to Exchange Members

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble October 9, 2003.

I. Introduction

On May 22, 2003, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Inc. (“CBOE” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”)[1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] a proposed rule change to add an interpretation to its Rule 6.7. On August 12, 2003, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change.[3] The proposed rule change, as amended, was published for comment in the Federal Register on August 19, 2003.[4] On September 10, 2003, the CBOE submitted Amendment No. 2 to the proposed rule change.[5] On October 6, 2003, the CBOE submitted Amendment No. 3 to the proposed rule change.[6]

The Commission received no comments on the proposed rule change, Start Printed Page 59657as amended. This order approves the proposed rule change, as amended, and issues notice of, and grants accelerated approval to, Amendment No. 3.

II. Description of the Proposed Rule Change

Pursuant to the Linkage Project and Facilities Management Agreement (“Agreement”),[7] the Linkage Participants, including the Exchange, are required to file a proposed rule change with the Commission to provide the Options Clearing Corporation (“OCC”) with limited liability with respect to the members” use of the Linkage. The CBOE represents that it filed this proposed rule change to fulfill its obligation under the Agreement. The CBOE proposes to adopt Interpretation .04 to CBOE Rule 6.7 to limit the liability for the OCC with respect to CBOE members' use of the Linkage.

III. Discussion

The Commission finds that the proposed rule change, as amended, is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange [8] and, in particular, the requirements of Section 6(b) of the Act [9] and the rules and regulations thereunder. The Commission finds that the proposed rule change, as amended, is consistent with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[10] which requires, among other things, that the rules of the Exchange be designed to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulation, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest, and are not designed to permit unfair discrimination between customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers. The Commission believes that this proposed rule change, as amended, should foster cooperation and should promote a relationship between the CBOE and the OCC that is conducive to the effective operation of the Linkage.

The Commission finds good cause, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,[11] for approving Amendment No. 3 prior to the thirtieth day after the date of publication of notice thereof in the Federal Register. In Amendment No. 3, the CBOE proposes to eliminate a provision from proposed Interpretation .04 to CBOE Rule 6.7 that characterized Linkage as a facility or service of the Exchange for purposes of Exchange Rule 6.7. The Commission believes that removing this provision makes the CBOE's rules consistent with the rules of some of the other Exchanges recently approved by the Commission.[12]

IV. Solicitation of Comments

Interested persons are invited to submit written data, views, and arguments concerning Amendment No. 3, including whether Amendment No. 3 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 also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the CBOE. All submissions should refer to File No. SR-CBOE-2003-22 and should be submitted by November 6, 2003.

V. Conclusion

It Is Therefore Ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,[13] that the proposed rule change, as amended, (File No. SR-CBOE-2003-22) is approved, and Amendment No. 3 is approved on an accelerated basis.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[14]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  See letter from David Doherty, Attorney, Legal Division, CBOE to Timothy Fox, Attorney, Division of Market Regulation (“Division”), Commission, dated August 11, 2003 (“Amendment No. 1”). In Amendment No. 1, the CBOE replaced the phrase “persons associated therewith” with the phrase “associated persons” in proposed Interpretation .04 to CBOE Rule 6.7.

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4.  Securities Exchange Act Release No. 48320 (August 12, 2003), 68 FR 49827.

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5.  See letter from David Doherty, Attorney, Legal Division, CBOE to Timothy Fox, Attorney, Division, Commission, dated September 9, 2003 (“Amendment No. 2”). In Amendment No. 2, the CBOE deleted the provisions of proposed Interpretation .04 to CBOE Rule 6.7 that provided that the Options Intermarket Linkage (“Linkage”) is a facility or service afforded by the Exchange for the purposes of CBOE Rule 6.7. Further, the CBOE proposed that the Exchange would have no liability to its members with respect to the use, non-use or inability to use the Linkage.

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6.  See letter from David Doherty, Attorney, Legal Division, CBOE to Jennifer Colihan, Special Counsel, Division, Commission, dated October 3, 2003 (“Amendment No. 3”). In Amendment No. 3, which superseded and replaced Amendment No. 2 in its entirety, CBOE deleted the provisions of proposed Interpretation .04 to CBOE Rule 6.7 that provided that Linkage is a facility or service afforded by the Exchange for the purposes of CBOE Rule 6.7.

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7.  Linkage Project and Facilities Management Agreement (January 30, 2003).

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8.  In approving this proposed rule change, as amended, the Commission notes that it has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

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12.  See Exchange Act Release Nos. 48530 (September 24, 2003), 68 FR 56357 (September 30, 2003) (SR-ISE-2003-15), and 48531 (September 24, 2003), 68 FR 56370 (SR-Phlx-2003-43).

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[FR Doc. 03-26206 Filed 10-15-03; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P