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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Change by the International Securities Exchange, Inc., Relating to the Extension of the Linkage Fee Pilot Program

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble July 13, 2004.

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 1, 2004, the International Securities Exchange, Inc. (the “Exchange” or the “ISE”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which items have been substantially prepared by the Exchange. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons and is approving the proposed rule change on an accelerated basis.

I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change

The ISE is proposing to extend until July 31, 2005 the current pilot program regarding transaction fees charged for trades executed through the intermarket options linkage (“Linkage”). Currently pending before the Commission is a filing to make such fees permanent.[3]

The proposed fee schedule is available at the Exchange 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 ISE 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 III below. The Exchange 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

The purpose of this proposed rule change is to extend for one year the pilot program establishing ISE fees for Principal (“P”) Orders and Principal Acting as Agent (“P/A”) Orders executed through Linkage. The fees currently are effective for a pilot program scheduled to expire on July 31, 2004,[4] and this filing would extend the fees through July 31, 2005. The three fees the ISE charges for P and P/A orders are: the basic execution fees for trading on the ISE, which range from $.12 to $.21 per contract/side depending on average daily trading volume on the Exchange; a $.10 surcharge per contract/side for trading certain licensed products; and a $.03 comparison fee contract/side (collectively “Linkage fees”). The Exchange represents that these are the same fees that all ISE Members pay for non-customer transactions executed on the Exchange. The ISE does not charge for the execution of Satisfaction Orders sent through Linkage and is not proposing to charge for such orders.

In the Permanent Fee Filing, the ISE discusses in detail the reasoning why it believes it is appropriate to charge fees for P and P/A Orders executed through Linkage. In sum, the ISE argues that market makers on competing exchanges can match a better price on the ISE; they are never obligated to send orders to the ISE through Linkage. However, if such market makers do seek the ISE's liquidity, whether through conventional orders or through the use of P or P/A Orders, the Exchange believes it is appropriate to charge ISE Members the same fees levied on other non-customer orders. The ISE appreciates that there has been limited experience with Linkage and that the Commission is continuing to study Linkage in general and the effect of fees on trades executed through Linkage. Thus, this filing would extend the status quo for ISE's Linkage fees for one year while the Commission considers the Permanent Fee Filing.

2. Statutory Basis

The ISE believes that the basis for this proposed rule change is the requirement under Section 6(b)(4) of the Act [5] that an exchange provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among its members and other persons using its facilities. As discussed in more detail above, the ISE believes that this proposed rule change will equitably allocate fees by having all non-customer users of ISE transaction services pay the same fees. If the ISE were not to charge Linkage fees, the ISE believes that the Exchange's fee would not be equitable, in that ISE Members would be subsidizing the trading of their competitors, all of whom access the same trading services.

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

The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change imposes any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act. Moreover, the ISE believes that failing to adopt the proposed rule change would impose a burden on competition by requiring ISE Members to subsidize the trading of their competitors. Start Printed Page 43650

C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received from Members, Participants or Others

The Exchange has not solicited, and does not intend to solicit, comments on this proposed rule change. The Exchange has not received any unsolicited written comments from members or other interested parties.

III. 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. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:

Electronic comments

Paper comments

  • Send paper comments in triplicate to Jonathan G. Katz, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 450 Fifth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549-0609.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-ISE-2004-25. This file number should be included on the subject line if e-mail is used. To help the Commission process and review your comments more efficiently, please use only one method. The Commission will post all comments on the Commission's Internet Web site (http://www.sec.gov/​rules/​sro.shtml). 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 Section, 450 Fifth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal offices of the ISE. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does not edit personal identifying information from submissions. You should submit only information that you wish to make available publicly. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-ISE-2004-25 and should be submitted on or before August 11, 2004.

IV. Commission's Findings and Order Granting Accelerated Approval of Proposed Rule Change

After careful consideration, 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,[6] and, in particular, with the requirements of Section 6(b) of the Act [7] and the rules and regulations thereunder. The Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(4) of the Act,[8] which requires that the rules of the Exchange provide for the equitable allocation or reasonable dues, fees and other charges among its members and other persons using its facilities. The Commission believes that the extension of the Linkage fee pilot until July 31, 2005 will give the Exchange and the Commission further opportunity to evaluate whether such fees are appropriate.

The Commission finds good cause, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,[9] for approving the proposed rule change prior to the thirtieth day after the date of publication of the notice of the filing thereof in the Federal Register. The Commission believes that granting accelerated approval will preserve the Exchange's existing pilot program for Linkage fees without interruption as the ISE and the Commission further consider the appropriateness of Linkage fees.

V. Conclusion

It is Therefore Ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act [10] that the proposed rule change (SR-ISE-2004-25) is hereby approved on an accelerated basis for a pilot period to expire on July 31, 2005.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[11]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  See File No. SR-ISE-2003-30 (the “Permanent Fee Filing”).

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4.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 49009 (December 30, 2003), 69 FR 714 (January 6, 2004) (SR-ISE-2003-39).

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6.  In approving this rule, the Commission notes that it has considered its impact on efficiency, competition and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

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[FR Doc. 04-16556 Filed 7-20-04; 8:45 am]

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