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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Delete the Exchange's Auto-Quote Options Pricing Functionality

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Start Preamble March 20, 2007.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”),[1] and Rule 19b-4 [2] thereunder, notice is hereby given that on February 22, 2007, the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. (“Phlx” 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 Phlx. The Exchange filed the proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [3] and Rule 19b-4(f)(5) thereunder,[4] which renders the proposal immediately effective upon filing. The Commission is publishing this notice to solicit comments on the proposed rule change from interested persons.

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

The Phlx proposes to amend Exchange Rule 1080, Commentary .01, to delete references to “Auto-Quote.” The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at http://www.Phlx.com, at the Phlx'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 Phlx 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. The Phlx 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 the proposed rule change is to eliminate the outmoded and little-used options pricing functionality of the Exchange's Automated Quotation System (“Auto-Quote”), which should reduce updating and modification costs which could ultimately be passed on to customers, as described more fully below. Auto-Quote is the Exchange's electronic options pricing system, which enables specialists, Streaming Quote Traders (“SQTs”) [5] and Remote Streaming Quote Traders (“RSQTs”),[6] to automatically monitor and instantly update and submit electronic quotations for equity option and index option contracts.[7]

Currently, the wide majority of traders on the Exchange use their own proprietary options pricing systems, and access the Exchange's electronic options trading system, Phlx XL, through a specialized connection, by-passing Auto-Quote. This specialized connection is known as a specialized quote feed (“SQF”).[8] SQF users who do not use Auto-Quote submit proprietary electronic option quotations via SQF. SQF users submit electronic option quotations through their own pricing models or through quotation vendors.

In July, 2004, the Exchange implemented its fully electronic trading system for options, Phlx XL.[9] At that time, vendor options pricing systems used by Exchange members often were not technologically capable of providing full options pricing services to Exchange members. Consequently, many members used Auto-Quote instead of vendor option pricing systems. Since that time, vendor options pricing systems have been upgraded to address shortcomings that existed previously. As a result, very few options traders still use Auto-Quote on the Exchange. Such options traders have received written notification by way of Exchange circular of the Exchange's intention to eliminate the Auto-Quote options pricing functionality from its options trading systems and will make necessary arrangements with the appropriate vendors to price options and to access the Exchange's trading systems via SQF.

Recent changes in options trading such as quoting and trading of options in pennies, increased quote traffic, and the automation of processing complex orders, to name a few, would mandate continual upgrades to the technological requirements to maintain Auto-Quote as a component of the Exchange's options trading systems. The Exchange's Start Printed Page 14319Financial Automation Department [10] describes Auto-Quote as an older system that would require a large investment to update it to match existing industry and vendor functionality. The Exchange believes that such a large investment could result in increased fees that might eventually be passed on to customers, which is one result that the Exchange seeks to avoid by eliminating the Auto-Quote options pricing functionality from its options trading systems.

Therefore, because of the limited use of the Auto-Quote options pricing functionality on the Exchange, together with the disproportionate expense the Exchange would incur to continually upgrade Auto-Quote to meet industry needs, the Exchange proposes to eliminate the Auto-Quote options pricing functionality from its options trading systems, and to delete all references to Auto-Quote from its rules. The Exchange's systems will no longer incorporate the Auto-Quote options pricing functionality beginning March 19, 2007.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act [11] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act [12] in particular, in that it is designed to promote just and equitable principles of trade, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest, by enabling the Exchange to limit expenses relating to the under-used and antiquated Auto-Quote options pricing functionality.

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 either solicited or received.

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

The foregoing proposed rule change effects a change in an existing order-entry or trading system of a self-regulatory organization that: (1) Does not significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (2) does not impose any significant burden on competition; and (3) does not have the effect of limiting the access to or availability of the system. Therefore, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) [13] of the Act and Rule 19b-4(f)(5) [14] thereunder.

At any time within 60 days of the filing of the 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.

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-Phlx-2007-15. 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 the filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the Phlx. 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-Phlx-2007-15 and should be submitted on or before April 17, 2007.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Market Regulation, pursuant to delegated authority.[15]

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

5.  An SQT is an Exchange Registered Options Trader (“ROT”) who has received permission from the Exchange to generate and submit options quotations electronically through AUTOM in eligible options to which such SQT is assigned. An SQT may only submit such quotations while such SQT is physically present on the floor of the Exchange. See Exchange Rule 1014(b)(ii)(A).

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6.  An RSQT is a ROT that is a member or member organization with no physical trading floor presence who has received permission from the Exchange to generate and submit option quotations electronically through AUTOM in eligible options to which such RSQT has been assigned. An RSQT may only submit such quotations electronically from off the floor of the Exchange. See Exchange Rule 1014(b)(ii)(B).

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7.  See Exchange Rule 1080, Commentary .01(a).

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8.  See Exchange Rule 1080, Commentary .01(b).

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9.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 50100 (July 27, 2004), 69 FR 46612 (August 3, 2004) (SR-Phlx-2003-59).

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10.  The Exchange's Financial Automation Department is responsible for the design, development, implementation, testing and maintenance of the Exchange's automated trading systems, surveillance systems, and back office systems, and for monitoring the quality of performance and operational readiness of such systems, in addition to user training and validation of user technology as it pertains to such users' interface with the Exchange's systems.

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[FR Doc. E7-5548 Filed 3-26-07; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P