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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change To Extend a Pilot Program That Allows for No Minimum Size Order Requirement for the Price Improvement Period Process on the Boston Options Exchange Facility

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Start Preamble July 17, 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 July 13, 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 from interested persons.

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

The Exchange proposes to amend the Supplementary Material to Section 18 (the Price Improvement Period “PIP”) of Chapter V of the Rules of the Boston Options Exchange Group, LLC (“BOX”) to extend a pilot program that permits BOX to have no minimum size requirement for orders entered into the PIP and under certain circumstances permits the premature termination of the PIP process (“PIP Pilot Program”). The text of the proposed rule change is available from the principal office of the Exchange, at the Commission's Public Reference Room and also on the Exchange's Internet 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 purpose of the proposed rule change is to extend the PIP Pilot Program under the BOX Rules for twelve (12) additional months. The PIP Pilot Program allows BOX to have no minimum size requirement for orders entered into the PIP process and under certain circumstances permits the premature termination of the PIP process.[5] The proposed rule change reflects change to the text of Supplementary Material .01 to Section 18 of Chapter V of the BOX Rules and seeks to extend the operation of the PIP Pilot Program until July 17, 2010.

The Exchange notes that the PIP Pilot Program provides small customer orders with benefits not available under the rules of some other exchanges. One of the important factors of the PIP Pilot Program is that it guarantees Participants the right to trade with their customer orders that are less than 50 contracts. In particular, any order Start Printed Page 36806entered into the PIP is guaranteed an execution at the end of the auction at a price at least equal to the national best bid or offer.

In further support of this proposed rule change, and as required by the Original PIP Pilot Program Approval Order, the Exchange represents that BOX has been submitting to the Exchange and to the Commission a PIP Pilot Program Report, offering detailed data from, and analysis of, the PIP Pilot Program. Although BOX is submitting the reports, the Exchange notes that it is also responsible for the timeliness and the accuracy of the information.

To aid the Commission in its evaluation of the PIP Pilot Program, BOX has represented to the Exchange that BOX will provide the following additional information each month: (1) The number of orders of 50 contracts or greater entered into the PIP auction; (2) The percentage of all orders of 50 contracts or greater sent to BOX that are entered into BOX's PIP auction; (3) The spread in the option, at the time an order of 50 contracts or greater is submitted to the PIP auction; (4) Of PIP trades for orders of fewer than 50 contracts, the percentage done at the National Best Bid or Offer (“NBBO”) plus $.01, plus $.02, plus $.03, etc.; (5) Of PIP trades for orders of 50 contracts or greater, the percentage done at the NBBO plus $.01, plus $.02, plus $.03, etc.; (6) The number of orders submitted by Order Flow Providers (“OFPs”) when the spread was $.05, $.10, $.15, etc. For each spread, BOX will specify the percentage of contracts in orders of fewer than 50 contracts submitted to BOX's PIP that were traded by: (a) The OFP that submitted the order to the PIP; (b) BOX Market Makers assigned to the class; (c) other BOX Participants; (d) Public Customer Orders (including Customer PIP Orders (“CPOs”)); and (e) unrelated orders (orders in standard increments entered during the PIP). For each spread, BOX will also specify the percentage of contracts in orders of 50 contracts or greater submitted to BOX's PIP that were traded by: (a) The OFP that submitted the order to the PIP; (b) BOX Market Makers assigned to the class; (c) other BOX Participants; (d) Public Customer Orders (including CPOs); and (e) unrelated orders (orders in standard increments entered during PIP); (7) For the first Wednesday of each month: (a) The total number of PIP auctions on that date; (b) the number of PIP auctions where the order submitted to the PIP was fewer than 50 contracts; (c) the number of PIP auctions where the order submitted to the PIP was 50 contracts or greater; (d) the number of PIP auctions (for orders of fewer than 50 contracts) with 0 participants (excluding the initiating participant), 1 participant (excluding the initiating participant), 2 participants (excluding the initiating participant), 3 participants (excluding the initiating participant), 4 participants (excluding the initiating participant), etc., and (e) the number of PIP auctions (for orders of 50 contracts or greater) with 0 participants (excluding the initiating participant), 1 participant (excluding the initiating participant), 2 participants (excluding the initiating participant), 3 participants (excluding the initiating participant), 4 participants (excluding the initiating participant), etc.; and (8) For the third Wednesday of each month: (a) The total number of PIP auctions on that date; (b) the number of PIP auctions where the order submitted to the PIP was fewer than 50 contracts; (c) the number of PIP auctions where the order submitted to the PIP was 50 contracts or greater; (d) the number of PIP auctions (for orders of fewer than 50 contracts) with 0 participants (excluding the initiating participant), 1 participant (excluding the initiating participant), 2 participants (excluding the initiating participant), 3 participants (excluding the initiating participant), 4 participants (excluding the initiating participant), etc., and (e) the number of PIP auctions (for orders of 50 contracts or greater) with 0 participants (excluding the initiating participant), 1 participant (excluding the initiating participant), 2 participants (excluding the initiating participant), 3 participants (excluding the initiating participant), 4 participants (excluding the initiating participant), etc.

2. Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposal is consistent with the requirements of Section 6(b) of the Act,[6] in general, and Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[7] 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. The Exchange believes that the data demonstrates that there is sufficient investor interest and demand to extend the PIP Pilot Program for an additional twelve (12) months. The Exchange represents that the Pilot Program is designed to provide investors with real and significant price improvement regardless of the size of the order.

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 proposed rule change, as amended: (1) Does not significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (2) does not impose any significant burden on competition; and (3) by its terms does not become operative for 30 days after the date of this filing, 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) [8] of the Act and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.[9]

A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [10] normally may not become operative prior to 30 days after the date of filing. However, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) [11] permits the Commission to designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange requests that the Commission waive the 30-day operative delay, as specified in Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii),[12] which would make the rule change operative upon filing. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because such waiver will allow the PIP Pilot Program to continue without interruption.[13] Accordingly, the Start Printed Page 36807Commission designates the proposed rule change operative 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.

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-2009-038. 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 the filing will also be available for inspection and copying at the principal office of the self-regulatory organization. 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-BX-2009-038 and should be submitted on or before August 14, 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 Pilot Program is currently set to expire on July 18, 2009. See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 58942 (November 13, 2008), 73 FR 70394 (November 20, 2008) (SR-BSE-2008-49); See also Securities and Exchange Act Release No. 58195 (July 18, 2008), 73 FR 43801 (July 28, 2008) (SR-BSE-2008-39); See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 55999 (July 2, 2007), 72 FR 37549 (July 10, 2007) (SR-BSE-2007-27); See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 54066 (June 29, 2006), 71 FR 38434 (July 6, 2006) (SR-BSE-2006-24); See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 52149 (July 28, 2005), 70 FR 44704 (August 3, 2005) (SR-BSE-2005-22); See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 49068 (January 13, 2004), 69 FR 2775 (January 20, 2004) (SR-BSE-2002-15) (“Original PIP Pilot Program Approval Order”). See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 51821 (June 10, 2005), 70 FR 35143 (June 16, 2005) (SR-BSE-2004-51) (Order approving, among other things, under certain circumstances, the premature termination of a PIP process).

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9.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6). In addition, Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) requires a self-regulatory organization to provide the Commission with written notice of its 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 fulfilled this requirement.

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11.  17 CFR 240.19b-4(f)(6)(iii).

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

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[FR Doc. E9-17637 Filed 7-23-09; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8010-01-P