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 January 24, 2006, the National Association of Securities Dealers, Inc. (“NASD”), through its subsidiary, The Nasdaq Stock Market, Inc. (“Nasdaq”), 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 Nasdaq. 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
Nasdaq proposes to re-establish retroactively through September 1, 2005, a pilot program under NASD Rule 7010(h), which reduced from $50 to $10 the monthly fee that non-professional users pay to receive National Quotation Data Service (“NQDS”). Nasdaq is simultaneously filing a separate rule proposal to re-establish the same pilot program prospectively through December 29, 2006, the date the pilot inadvertently was permitted to lapse. The text of the rule is below. There is no new proposed language.
7010. System Services
(h) National Quotation Data Service (NQDS)
(1) Except as provided in subparagraph (2) of this section, the charge to be paid for each interrogation or display device receiving all or any portion of the information disseminated through the NQDS shall be $50.00 per Start Printed Page 8028month. The NQDS information that will be provided through service consists of individual market maker quotations, Nasdaq Level 1 Service and the Last Sale Information Service.
(2) The charge to be paid by a non-professional for each interrogation or display device receiving all or any portion of the NQDS information disseminated through an authorized vendor shall be $10.00 per month.
(3) A “non-professional” is a natural person who is neither:
(A) Registered or qualified in any capacity with the Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, any state securities agency, any securities exchange or association, or any commodities or futures contract market or association;
(B) Engaged as an “investment adviser” as that term defined in Section 201(11) of the Investment Advisors Act of 1940 (whether or not registered or qualified under that Act); nor
(C) Employed by a bank or other organization exempt from registration under federal or state securities laws to perform functions that would require registration or qualification if such functions were performed for an organization not so exempt.
II. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement of the Purpose of, and Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change
In its filing with the Commission, Nasdaq 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 IV below. Nasdaq 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
Nasdaq proposes to re-establish retroactively through September 1, 2005, the fee reduction pilot program under NASD Rule 7010(h) that reduced from $50 to $10 the monthly fee that non-professional users pay to receive NQDS.
NQDS delivers market maker quotations, Nasdaq Level 1  service (including calculation and display of the inside market), and last sale information that is dynamically updated on a real-time basis. NQDS data is used not only by firms, associated persons, and other market professionals, but also by non-professionals who receive the service through authorized vendors, including, for example, on-line brokerage firms. Prior to August 31, 2000, NQDS data was available through authorized vendors at a monthly rate of $50 for professionals and non-professionals users alike. In August 2000, the NASD, through Nasdaq, filed a rule change to reduce from $50 to $10 the monthly fee that non-professional users pay to receive NQDS data. The Commission approved the pilot on August 22, 2000, and the fee reduction commenced on August 31, 2000 on a one-year pilot basis. On September 5, 2001, August 29, 2002, August 15, 2003, and August 20, 2004, Nasdaq filed proposed rule changes to extend the pilot for additional one-year periods.
Nasdaq has consistently supported broad, effective dissemination of market information to public investors. Thus, Nasdaq is proposing to re-establish the fee-reduction pilot for the remainder of 2006. The pilot would cover the period from January 24, 2006, through December 29, 2006. Nasdaq notes that the existing pilot reduced by 80% the fees that non-professionals paid for NQDS data prior to August 31, 2000. Continuing the reduction of NQDS for non-professional users demonstrates Nasdaq's continued commitment to individual investors and responds to the dramatic increase in the demand for real-time market data by non-professional market participants. In addition, NASD member firms often supply real-time market data to their customers through automated means. Thus, NASD member firms' customers would benefit from the continued fee reduction.
2. Statutory Basis
Nasdaq believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of section 15A of the Act, in general, and with section 15A(b)(5) of the Act, in particular, in that it provides for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among members and issuers and other persons using any facility or system which the Nasdaq operates or controls, and it does not unfairly discriminate between customers, issuers, brokers or dealers. Nasdaq also believes that the fee reduction enhances the public's access to market data that is relevant to investors when they make financial decisions and encourages increased public participation in the securities markets.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
Nasdaq does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in 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
Written comments were neither solicited nor received.
III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action
Within 35 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the NASD consents, the Commission will:
(A) By order approve such proposed rule change or
(B) Institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be disapproved.
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 email@example.com. Please include File Number SR-NASD-2006-008 on the subject line.
- Send paper comments in triplicate to Nancy M. Morris, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, Station Place, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.Start Printed Page 8029
All submissions should refer to File Number SR-NASD-2006-008. 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. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the NASD. 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-NASD-2006-008 and should be submitted on or before March 8, 2006.Start Signature
For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.
J. Lynn Taylor,
3. Changes are marked to the rule text that appears in the electronic NASD Manual found at http://www.nasd.com. Prior to the date when The Nasdaq Stock Market LLC (“Nasdaq LLC” commences operations, Nasdaq LLC will file a conforming change to the rules of Nasdaq LLC approved in Securities Exchange Act Release No. 53128 (January 13, 2006).Back to Citation
4. Pursuant to NASD Rule 7010(e), Nasdaq separately distributes Level 1 data to non-professionals for a monthly fee of $1.00.Back to Citation
5. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 43190 (August 22, 2000), 65 FR 52460 (August 29, 2000) (notice of filing and order granting accelerated approval of NASD-00-47).Back to Citation
6. Id.Back to Citation
7. See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 44788 (September 13, 2001), 66 FR 48303 (September 19, 2001); 46446 (August 30, 2002), 67 FR 57260 (September 9, 2002); 48386 (August 21, 2003), 68 FR 51618 (August 27, 2003); and 50318 (September 3, 2004), 69 FR 54821 (September 10, 2004).Back to Citation
[FR Doc. E6-2110 Filed 2-14-06; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8010-01-P