Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”), and Rule 19b-4 thereunder, notice is hereby given that on December 2, 2004, the American Stock Exchange LLC (“Amex” 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. On January 6, 2005, the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change, as amended, from interested persons.
I. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Terms of Substance of the Proposed Rule Change
The Exchange proposes to reduce the aggregate options transaction fee for Exchange specialists and registered options traders from $0.25 per contract side to $0.20 per contract side. The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Office of the Secretary, Amex, 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 Exchange included statements concerning the purpose of and basis for the proposed rule change and discussed Start Printed Page 2433any 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 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
The Exchange currently imposes transactions charges for transactions in equity options executed on the Exchange by Exchange specialists and Exchange registered options traders (“ROTs”). The current charges for Exchange specialist and ROTs in equity options are $0.25 per contract side, consisting of an options transaction fee of $0.15, an options comparison fee of $0.05 and an options floor brokerage fee of $0.05. The Exchange proposes to reduce the aggregate equity options transaction fee for Exchange specialists and ROTs from the current level of $0.25 per contract side to $0.20 per contract side effective December 2, 2004. Non-member market makers, i.e., market makers registered in the same option class on another option exchange, will continue to be charged the current aggregate transaction fee of $0.30 per contract side. The new aggregate equity options transaction fee for Exchange specialists and ROTs will consist of an options transaction fee of $0.10 per contract side, an options comparison fee of $0.05 per contract side and options floor brokerage fee of $0.05 per contract side.
The Exchange believes that the proposed reduction in the equity options transaction fee will benefit the Exchange by providing greater incentive to Exchange specialists and ROTs to competitively quote their markets in comparison to the markets made by other options exchanges. The Exchange also believes that the reduction in the equity options transaction fee will help to maintain the existing floor operations of member firms at the Amex.
2. Statutory Basis
The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act  in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(4) of the Act  in particular, regarding the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among exchange members and other persons using exchange facilities.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will impose 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
The Exchange has neither solicited nor received written comments on the proposed rule change.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
The proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act  and Rule 19b-4(f)(2) thereunder, because the proposed rule change establishes or changes a due, fee or other charge applicable only to a member of the Exchange. At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission may summarily abrogate the rule change if it appears to the Commission that the action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or would otherwise further 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 proposed rule change is consistent with the Act. Comments may be submitted by any of the following methods:
- Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or
- Send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include File Number SR-Amex-2004-97 on the subject line.
- 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-Amex-2004-97. 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 Room, 450 Fifth Street, NW., Washington, DC 20549. Copies of the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Exchange. 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-Amex-2004-97 and should be submitted on or before February 3, 2005.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
J. Lynn Taylor,
3. See Form 19b-4 dated January 6, 2005 (“Amendment No. 1”). In Amendment No. 1, the Exchange clarified the effective date of the proposed fee change.Back to Citation
8. For purposes of calculating the 60-day period within which the Commission may summarily abrogate the proposed rule change under Section 19(b)(3)(C) of the Act, the Commission considers that period to commence on January 6, 2005, the date the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change. See 15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(C).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. E5-116 Filed 1-12-05; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P