On November 13, 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 add three existing reports (ITS FEA Forms 1 and 2, responses to FRD Deficiency Letters, and annual audited financial statements) to the list of reports submitted to the Financial Regulation Department that may be subject to a fine under Amex's Minor Rule Violation Fine Plan (“Plan”). In addition, the Exchange proposed other amendments to clarify other obligations under the Plan.
The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on January 15, 2004. The Commission received no comments on the proposal.
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 Start Printed Page 8710exchange  and, in particular, the requirements of Section 6 of the Act  and the rules and regulations thereunder. In particular, the Commission believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(6) of the Act because it should enhance the ability of the Exchange to enforce compliance by its members and persons associated with its members with the provisions of the Act, the rules and regulations thereunder, and the rules of the Exchange. In addition, the Commission believes that the proposal is consistent with Rule 19d-1(c)(2) under the Act, which governs minor rule violation plans.
In approving this proposed rule change, the Commission in no way minimizes the importance of compliance with these rules, and all other rules subject to the imposition of fines under the Exchange's minor rule violation plan. The Commission believes that the violation of any self-regulatory organization's rules, as well as Commission rules, is a serious matter. However, in an effort to provide the Exchange with greater flexibility in addressing certain violations, the Exchange's minor rule violation plan provides a reasonable means to address rule violations that do not rise to the level of requiring formal disciplinary proceedings. The Commission expects that the Amex will continue to conduct surveillance with due diligence, and make a determination based on its findings whether fines of more or less than the recommended amount are appropriate for violations of rules under the Exchange's minor rule violation plan, on a case by case basis, or if a violation requires formal disciplinary action.
It is therefore ordered, pursuant to section 19(b)(2) of the Act, that the proposed rule change (SR-Amex-2003-97) be, and it hereby is, approved.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
Margaret H. McFarland,
4. In approving this proposed rule change, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. 04-4063 Filed 2-24-04; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P