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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by NASDAQ OMX PHLX, Inc. Relating to the Options Regulatory Fee

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Start Preamble February 17, 2010.

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 February 4, 2010, NASDAQ OMX PHLX, Inc. (“Phlx” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC” or “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II, and III, below, which Items have been prepared by the Exchange. 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 its Options Regulatory Fee.

The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at http://nasdaqtrader.com/​micro.aspx?​id=​PHLXfilings, at the principal office of the Exchange, at the Commission's Public Reference Room, and on the Commission's Web site at http://www.sec.gov.

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. The Exchange has prepared summaries, set forth in sections A, B, and C below, of Start Printed Page 8422the 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 amend the Options Regulatory Fee to eliminate the minimum one-cent charge per trade. The Exchange notes that the total monthly charges to be assessed in a given month will be rounded to the nearest $0.01. The Exchange believes that by eliminating the one-cent charge per trade this should reduce fees related to the ORF for members.

Currently, the Exchange assesses $.0035 per contract to each member for all options transactions executed or cleared by the member that are cleared by The Options Clearing Corporation (“OCC”) in the customer range (i.e., that clear in the customer account of the member's clearing firm at OCC), excluding P/A Orders as defined in the Options Intermarket Linkage Plan (“Linkage”).[3] The ORF is imposed upon all such transactions executed by a member, even if such transactions do not take place on the Exchange.[4] The ORF also includes options transactions that are not executed by an Exchange member but are ultimately cleared by an Exchange member. The Exchange charges members $.0035 per contract for all options transactions executed or cleared by the member that are cleared by OCC in the customer range, excluding Linkage P/A Orders, regardless of the marketplace of execution. In the case where one member both executes a transaction and clears the transaction, the ORF is assessed to the member only once on the execution. In the case where one member executes a transaction and a different member clears the transaction, the ORF is assessed only to the member who executes the transaction and is not assessed to the member who clears the transaction. In the case where a non-member executes a transaction and a member clears the transaction, the ORF is assessed to the member who clears the transaction. The ORF is not charged for member options transactions because members incur the costs of owning memberships and through their memberships are charged transaction fees, dues and other fees that are not applicable to non-members.[5] The dues and fees paid by members go into the general funds of the Exchange, a portion of which is used to help pay the costs of regulation. The ORF is collected indirectly from members through their clearing firms by OCC on behalf of the Exchange. Currently, there is a minimum one-cent charge per trade.[6]

The ORF is designed to recover a portion of the costs to the Exchange of the supervision and regulation of its members, including performing routine surveillances, investigations, examinations, financial monitoring, and policy, rulemaking, interpretive, and enforcement activities. The Exchange believes that revenue generated from the ORF, when combined with all of the Exchange's other regulatory fees, will cover a material portion, but not all, of the Exchange's regulatory costs. The Exchange monitors the amount of revenue collected from the ORF to ensure that it, in combination with its other regulatory fees and fines, do not exceed regulatory costs. If the Exchange determines regulatory revenues would exceed regulatory costs, the Exchange would adjust the ORF by submitting a fee change filing to the Commission.

Presently, the Exchange, in monitoring its revenue, has determined that regulatory revenues may exceed regulatory costs on an annual basis. The Exchange is proposing to adjust the ORF to ensure that it, in combination with its other regulatory fees and fines, does not exceed regulatory costs. The Exchange will continue to monitor the amount of revenue collected from the ORF.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that its proposal to amend its schedule of fees is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act[7] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(4) of the Act[8] in particular, in that it is an equitable allocation of reasonable fees and other charges among Exchange members. The Exchange believes that this fee proposal is equitable because it eliminates the minimum one-cent charge per trade and reduces the monthly ORF charge for all members.

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

No written comments were either solicited or received.

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

The foregoing rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(ii) of the Act[9] and paragraph (f)(2) of Rule 19b-4[10] 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 Elizabeth M. Murphy, Secretary, Securities and Exchange Commission, 100 F Street, NE., Washington, DC 20549-1090.

All submissions should refer to File Number SR-Phlx-2010-17. This file Start Printed Page 8423number 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 Web site viewing and printing 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 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 Number SR-Phlx-2010-17 and should be submitted on or before March 17, 2010.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[11]

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

3.  See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 60405 (July 30, 2009), 74 FR 39362 (August 6, 2009) (National Market System Plan Relating to Options Order Protection and Locked/Crossed Markets).

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4.  The ORF would apply to all “C” account origin code orders executed by a member on the Exchange. Exchange rules require each member to record the appropriate account origin code on all orders at the time of entry in order to allow the Exchange to properly prioritize and route orders and assess transaction fees pursuant to the rules of the Exchange and report resulting transactions to the OCC. See Exchange Rule 1063, Responsibilities of Floor Brokers, and Options Floor Procedure Advice F-4, Orders Executed as Spreads, Straddles, Combinations or Synthetics and Other Order Ticket Marking Requirements. The Exchange represents that it has surveillances in place to verify that members mark orders with the correct account origin code.

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5.  For example, non-broker-dealer customers generally are not charged transaction fees to trade equity options on the Exchange.

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6.  See Securities and Exchange Act Release No. 61133 (December 9, 2009), 74 FR 66715 (December 16, 2009) (SR-Phlx-2009-100).

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9.  15 U.S.C. 78s(b)(3)(A)(ii).

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[FR Doc. 2010-3546 Filed 2-23-10; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P