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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Extend the Penny Pilot Program on the Boston Options Exchange Facility

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Start Preamble Start Printed Page 15021 March 26, 2009.

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 March 24, 2009, NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc. (the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. The Exchange filed the proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act,[3] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) 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 from interested persons.

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

The Exchange proposes to amend Chapter V, Section 33 (Penny Pilot Program) of the Rules of the Boston Options Exchange Group, LLC (“BOX”) to extend, through July 3, 2009, the pilot program that permits certain classes to be quoted in penny increments on BOX (“Penny Pilot Program”). The text of the proposed rule change is available at the principal office of the Exchange, at the Commission's Public Reference Room and also on the Exchange's Web site at http://nasdaqomxbx.cchwallstreet.com/​NASDAQOMXBX/​Filings/​.

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 self-regulatory organization 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 self-regulatory organization 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 proposed rule change seeks to extend the effective date of the Penny Pilot Program on BOX for approximately three additional months, through July 3, 2009.[5] The Penny Pilot Program permits certain classes to be quoted in penny increments on BOX. The minimum price variation for all classes included in the Penny Pilot Program, except for the QQQQs, will continue to be $0.01 for all quotations in option series that are quoted at less than $3 per contract and $0.05 for all quotations in option series that are quoted at $3 per contract or greater. The QQQQs will continue to be quoted in $0.01 increments for all options series. The Exchange is not currently proposing any changes to the classes included within the Penny Pilot Program.

BOX will deliver a report (“Penny Pilot Report”) to the Commission which will be composed of data from approximately three months of trading, from February 1, 2009 through April 30, 2009. This Penny Pilot Report will be delivered to the Commission during the month of May 2009. The Penny Pilot Report will analyze the impact of penny pricing on market quality and options system capacity.[6]

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposal is consistent with the requirements of Section 6(b) of the Act,[7] in general, and Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[8] in particular, in that it is designed to foster cooperation and coordination with persons engaged in regulating, clearing, settling, processing information with respect to, and facilitating transactions in securities, to remove impediments to and perfect the mechanism for a free and open market and a national market system and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. Specifically, the proposed extension will allow the Penny Pilot Program to remain in effect on BOX without interruption.

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 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 comments on the proposed rule change.

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

Because the foregoing rule does not (i) significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) become operative for 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, the proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [9] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[10]

The Exchange has requested that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay so that the proposed rule change may become operative upon filing with the Commission pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [11] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [12] thereunder. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public Start Printed Page 15022interest because such waiver will allow the Penny Pilot Program to continue without interruption through July 3, 2009.[13] Accordingly, the Commission designates the proposed rule change operative upon filing with the Commission.

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 Elizabeth M. Murphy, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE., Washington DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-BX-2009-017. 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, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549, on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Copies of such 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 No. SR-BX-2009-017 and should be submitted on or before April 23, 2009.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.14

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

5.  The Penny Pilot Program has been in effect on BOX since January 26, 2007. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 55155 (January 23, 2007), 72 FR 4741 (February 1, 2007)(SR-BSE-2006-49). The Penny Pilot Program was later extended through September 27, 2007. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 56149 (July 26, 2007), 72 FR 42450 (August 2, 2007)(SR-BSE-2007-38). A subsequent rule filing by the Exchange on September 27, 2007 initiated a two-phased expansion of the Penny Pilot Program. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 56566 (September 27, 2007), 72 FR 56400 (October 3, 2007)(SR-BSE-2007-40). See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 57566 (March 26, 2008), 73 FR 18013 (April 2, 2008)(SR-BSE-2008-20). The Penny Pilot Program is currently set to expire on March 27, 2009. The extension of the effective date is the only change to the Penny Pilot Program being proposed at this time.

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6.  BOX has previously delivered several Penny Pilot Reports to the Commission composed of data from preceding time periods during which the Penny Pilot Program has been in effect on BOX.

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10.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) requires the Exchange to give the Commission written notice of the Exchange's intent to file the proposed rule change along with a brief description and text of the proposed rule change, at least five business days prior to the date of filing of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission. The Exchange has satisfied the pre-filing requirement.

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13.  For the purposes only of waiving the 30-day operative delay, the Commission has considered the proposed rule's impact on efficiency, competition, and capital formation. See 15 U.S.C. 78(c)(f).

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[FR Doc. E9-7408 Filed 4-1-09; 8:45 am]

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