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Self-Regulatory Organizations; Notice of Filing and Immediate Effectiveness of Proposed Rule Change by NASDAQ OMX PHLX, Inc. Relating to Making Permanent the Sponsored Access Pilot Program

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Start Preamble August 3, 2010.

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 July 28, 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 and II 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 make permanent its sponsored access rule, Rule 1094. The current pilot expires on September 15, 2010.

The text of the proposed rule change is available on the Exchange's Web site at​micro.aspx?​id=​PHLXRulefilings, at the principal office of the Exchange, 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 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 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 attract additional business by making permanent its sponsored access rule, which is similar to that of other exchanges. Since the inception of the rule as a pilot, many member organizations have now availed themselves of the program. The Exchange believes that making the program permanent should help attract even more users, especially because other exchanges' similar rules are not pilot programs.

A Sponsored Participant is a non-member of the Exchange, such as an institutional investor, that gains access to the Exchange and trades under a Sponsoring Member's execution and clearing identity pursuant to a sponsorship arrangement between such non-member and a member organization. Specifically, the Exchange proposes to permit Sponsored Participants to be sponsored by Start Printed Page 48389Sponsoring Member Organizations, and thereby access the Exchange, subject to certain requirements. These requirements are intended to confirm that the Sponsored Participant is required to and had procedures in place to comply with Exchange rules, and that the Sponsoring Member Organization takes responsibility for the Sponsored Participant's activity on the Exchange.

First, the Sponsored Participant and its Sponsoring Member Organization must have entered into and maintained an Access Agreement with the Exchange. The Sponsoring Member Organization must designate the Sponsored Participant by name in an addendum to the Access Agreement.

Second, there must be a Sponsored Participant Agreement between the Sponsoring Member Organization and the Sponsored Participant that contains the following sponsorship provisions, enumerated in full in Rule 1094(b)(ii):

(i) The orders of the Sponsored Participant are binding in all respects on the Sponsoring Member Organization;

(ii) The Sponsoring Member Organization is responsible for the actions of the Sponsored Participant;

(iii) In addition to the Sponsoring Member Organization being required to comply with the Exchange Certificate of Incorporation, By-laws, Rules and procedures of the Exchange, the Sponsored Participant shall do so as if such Sponsored Participant were an Exchange member organization;

(iv) The Sponsored Participant shall maintain, keep current and provide to the Sponsoring Member Organization a list of individuals authorized to obtain access to the Exchange on behalf of the Sponsored Participant;

(v) The Sponsored Participant shall familiarize its authorized individuals with all of the Sponsored Participant's obligations under this Rule and will assure that they receive appropriate training prior to any use or access to the Exchange;

(vi) The Sponsored Participant may not permit anyone other than authorized individuals to use or obtain access to the Exchange; [3]

(vii) The Sponsored Participant shall take reasonable security precautions to prevent unauthorized use or access to the Exchange, including unauthorized entry of information into the Exchange, and agrees that it is responsible for any and all orders, trades and other messages and instructions entered, transmitted or received under identifiers, passwords and security codes of authorized individuals, and for the trading and other consequences thereof;

(viii) The Sponsored Participant acknowledges its responsibility to establish adequate procedures and controls that permit it to effectively monitor its employees', agents' and Participants' use and access to the Exchange for compliance with the terms of this agreement;

(ix) The Sponsored Participant shall pay when due all amounts, if any, payable to Sponsoring Member Organization, the Exchange, or any other third parties that arise from the Sponsored Participant's access to and use of the Exchange. Such amounts include, but are not limited to applicable exchange and regulatory fees.

Third, the Sponsoring Member Organization must provide the Exchange with a Sponsored Participant Addendum to its Access Agreement acknowledging its responsibility for the orders, executions and actions of its Sponsored Participant at issue.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that its proposal is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act [4] in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(5) of the Act [5] 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 helping market participants seeking access to a marketplace. Given that it is substantially similar to the rules of several other exchanges and has been in effect for several prior pilot periods,[6] the proposal to make permanent this pilot program does not appear to raise any novel regulatory issues.[7] Because the sponsored access rule has been relied upon by many member organizations, the Exchange believes that the changes proposed herein should serve to help market participants seeking access to its marketplace.

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

Because the foregoing proposed rule change 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 after the date of the filing, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act [8] and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) [9] thereunder.

At any time within 60 days of the filing of the proposed rule change, the Commission summarily may temporarily suspend 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-2010-107. 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 (​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 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-2010-107 and should be submitted on or before August 31, 2010.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[10]

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble


3.  If the Exchange determines that an authorized individual has caused a Member Organization to violate the Exchange's Rules, the Exchange could direct the Member Organization to suspend or withdraw the person's status as an authorized individual.

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6.  See Securities Exchange Release Nos. 59362 (February 5, 2009), 74 FR 6931 (February 11, 2009) (SR-Phlx-2009-10); 60456 (August 7, 2009), 74 FR 40862 (August 13, 2009) (SR-Phlx-2009-63); 60942 (November 4, 2009), 74 FR 58350 (November 12, 2009) (SR-Phlx-2009-93); 61372 (January 15, 2010), 75 FR 4132 (January 26, 2010) (SR-Phlx-2010-04); and 61776 (March 24, 2010), 75 FR 16219 (March 31, 2010) (SR-Phlx-2010-44).

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7.  The Exchange understands that the Commission has proposed for comment new Rule 15c3-5 under the Exchange Act that would govern access to trading venues. Securities Exchange Act Release No. 61379 (January 19, 2010), 75 FR 4007 (January 26, 2010) (File No. S7-03-10). Of course, once such a rule becomes effective, the Exchange would comply with it and modify its rules accordingly. In the interim, the Exchange believes that making its Rule 1094 permanent sends a message to its users that the Exchange's sponsored access program is thriving, especially because other exchanges' similar programs are not pilot programs.

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

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[FR Doc. 2010-19605 Filed 8-9-10; 8:45 am]