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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; American Stock Exchange LLC; Notice of Filing and Order Granting Accelerated Approval to a Proposed Rule Change Relating to the Extension of the Suspension of Customer Transaction Charges for the Trading of Nasdaq-100 Index Tracking Stock®

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble February 8, 2005.

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 February 2, 2005, 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. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons. In addition, the Commission is granting accelerated approval of the proposed rule change.

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

The Amex proposes to amend the Amex Equity and Exchange Traded Funds and Trust Issued Receipts Fee Schedules (“Amex Fee Schedules”) to extend the suspension of customer transactions charges for the trading of Nasdaq-100 Index Tracking Stock® (Symbol: QQQQ) pursuant to the Nasdaq Unlisted Trading Privileges Plan until February 28, 2005.[3] The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Amex's Web site (http://www.amex.com), at the Amex's Office of the Secretary, and at the Commission's Public Reference Room.

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 any comments it had received on the proposed rule change. The text of these Start Printed Page 7782statements may be examined at the places specified in Item III below. The Amex 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

Effective December 1, 2004, the Nasdaq-100 Index Tracking Stock® listed on the Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. It trades on Nasdaq under the symbol QQQQ. The Amex trades the QQQQ on an unlisted trading privileges basis. The Amex amended the Amex Fee Schedules to provide that the customer transaction charges in QQQQ will be $.0015 per share ($.15 per 100 shares), capped at $100 per trade. The Amex, however, has suspended these customer transaction charges through January 31, 2005.[4] The Amex is now proposing to extend the suspension of customer transaction charges until February 28, 2005. The Exchange believes that this fee suspension would encourage competition among markets trading QQQQ and enhance the Amex's competitiveness in trading this security.

2. Statutory Basis

The Amex believes the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act,[5] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(4) of the Act,[6] in particular, in that it is intended to provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among its members and issuers and other persons using its facilities.[7]

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

The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change would impose any burden on competition.

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

No written comments were solicited or received with respect to the proposed rule change.

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-Amex-2005-016. 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 office of the Amex. 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 publicly available. All submissions should refer to File Number SR-Amex-2005-016 and should be submitted on or before March 8, 2005.

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.[8] In particular, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(4) of the Act,[9] in that it provides for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among its members and other persons using its facilities. The Commission believes that the proposed change in customer transaction charges is not unreasonable and should not discriminate unfairly among market participants.

The Amex has requested that the Commission find good cause for approving the proposed rule change prior to the thirtieth day after publication of notice thereof in the Federal Register. The Commission notes that granting accelerated approval of the proposal would allow the extension of the suspension of customer transactions charges for the trading of QQQQ to coincide with the extension of the suspension of transaction charges for the specialist and registered traders for the trading of QQQQ.[10] Accordingly, the Commission finds good cause, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,[11] for approving the proposed rule change prior to the thirtieth day after the date of publication of notice thereof in the Federal Register.

V. Conclusion

It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,[12] that the proposed rule change (SR-Amex-2005-016) is hereby approved on an accelerated basis.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[13]

Margaret H. McFarland,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  The Exchange also submitted a proposed rule change extending the suspension of the specialist's and registered traders' transaction charges for the trading of QQQQ. See File No. SR-Amex-2005-017.

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4.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 50969 (January 6, 2005), 70 FR 2191 (January 12, 2005) (SR-Amex-2004-111).

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7.  The Commission changed this sentence to reflect statutory basis for the proposed rule change pursuant to Section 6(b)(4) of the Act, rather than Section 6(b)(5). Telephone conversation between Claire P. McGrath, Senior Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Amex, and Theodore S. Venuti, Attorney, Division of Market Regulation, Commission (February 7, 2005).

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8.  In approving this proposal, the Commission has considered its impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. 15 U.S.C. 78c(f).

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10.  See File No. SR-Amex-2005-017, supra note 3.

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[FR Doc. E5-603 Filed 2-14-05; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P