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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; International Securities Exchange, LLC; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of a Proposed Rule Change as Modified by Amendment No. 1 Thereto Relating to Payment for Order Flow Fees

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Start Preamble February 12, 2007.

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 January 26, 2007, the International Securities Exchange, LLC (“ISE” 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 substantially prepared by the Exchange. On February 1, 2007, the ISE submitted Amendment No. 1 to the proposed rule change. ISE has designated this proposal as one establishing or changing a due, fee, or other charge imposed by ISE under Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act [3] and Rule 19b-4(f)(2) thereunder,[4] which renders the proposal effective upon filing with the Commission. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change, as amended, from interested persons.Start Printed Page 7700

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

The ISE is proposing to amend its Schedule of Fees to reduce the payment for order flow (“PFOF”) fees for options on issues that trade as part of the Penny Pilot (“Pilot”).[5] The text of the proposed rule change is available at the Exchange, the Commission's Public Reference Room, and http://www.iseoptions.com.

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 received on the proposed rule change. The text of these statements may be examined at the places specified in Item IV below. ISE has substantially 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 Exchange is proposing to amend its Schedule of Fees in conjunction with the introduction of the Pilot by reducing the PFOF fees for options on issues that trade as part of the Pilot. The Pilot is scheduled to begin on January 26, 2007. The following issues will be included in the Pilot: Agilent Technologies (A), Advanced Micro Devices (AMD), Caterpillar (CAT), Flextronics International (FLEX), General Electric (GE), Intel (INTC), iShares Russell 2000 Index fund (IWM), Microsoft (MSFT), Nasdaq-100 Index Tracking Stock (QQQQ), Semiconductor Holders Trust (SMH), Sun Microsystems (SUNW), Texas Instruments (TXN), and Whole Foods Markets (WFMI).

The Exchange currently operates a PFOF program as approved by the Commission.[6] This program is funded through a fee, currently set at $0.65 per contract, paid by Exchange market makers for each customer contract they execute. All funds collected by the Exchange are administered by specified market makers.[7] PFOF fees collected by the Exchange that are not distributed are rebated back to the market makers. The Exchange now proposes to reduce the PFOF fees to $0.25 per contract for transactions in all options on Pilot issues. This fee reduction would also apply to other issues that become a part of the Pilot in the event the Pilot is expanded beyond the current 13 securities. The Exchange believes that quoting and trading in one cent increments pursuant to the Pilot would narrow spreads, resulting in PFOF being less of a competitive factor. Thus, the Exchange believes it is prudent for it to maintain its PFOF fee, but at a lower level in options on Pilot issues.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act [8] in general, and Section 6(b)(4) of the Act [9] in particular, because it is an equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees, and other charges among exchange members and other persons using exchange facilities. In particular, the Exchange believes that lowering PFOF fees in options on Pilot issues would enhance competition.

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

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

III. Date of Effectiveness of the Proposed Rule Change and Timing for Commission Action

The foregoing proposed rule change has been designated as a fee change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act [10] and Rule 19b-4(f)(2) [11] thereunder, because it establishes or changes a due, fee, or other charge imposed by the Exchange. Accordingly, the proposal will take effect upon filing with the Commission. At any time within 60 days of the filing of such proposed rule change the Commission may summarily abrogate such rule change if it appears to the Commission that such action is necessary or appropriate in the public interest, for the protection of investors, or otherwise in furtherance of the purposes of the Act.[12]

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:

Electronic Comments

Paper Comments

  • Send paper comments in triplicate to Nancy M. Morris, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-ISE-2007-08. 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 ISE. All comments received will be posted without change; the Commission does Start Printed Page 7701not 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-2007-08 and should be submitted on or before March 9, 2007.

Start Signature

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

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(1)(3)(A)(ii).

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5.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 54603 (October 16, 2006), 71 FR 62024 (October 20, 2006) (SR-ISE-2006-62) (Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change to Implement a Pilot Program To Quote and To Trade Options in Pennies.

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6.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 43833 (January 10, 2001), 66 FR 7822 (January 25, 2001) (SR-ISE-2000-10).

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7.  Initially only Primary Market Makers administered PFOF pools. However, the Exchange recently amended its PFOF program to allow a Competitive Market Maker (“CMM”) to administer the PFOF funds collected by the Exchange with respect to orders in a group of options classes preferenced to that CMM. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 53127 (January 13, 2006), 71 FR 3582 (January 23, 2006) (SR-ISE-2005-57).

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10.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

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12.  For purposes of calculating the 60-day period within which the Commission may summarily abrogate the proposed rule change, the Commission considers the period to commence on February 1, 2007, the date on which the Exchange filed Amendment No. 1.

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[FR Doc. E7-2793 Filed 2-15-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P