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Self-Regulatory Organizations; The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC; Order Approving a Proposed Rule Change Relating to Pricing for Direct Circuit Connections

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Information about this document as published in the Federal Register.

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Start Preamble August 9, 2010.

On June 21, 2010, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“NASDAQ” or the “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”), pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) [1] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[2] a proposed rule change to establish pricing for 10Gb direct circuit connections and codify pricing for 1Gb direct circuit connections for customers who are not co-located in NASDAQ's datacenter. The proposed rule change was published for comment in the Federal Register on July 6, 2010.[3] The Commission received no comment letters on the proposal. This order approves the proposed rule change.

In its proposal, NASDAQ proposed to establish fees for direct 10Gb circuit connections, and codify fees for direct circuit connections capable of supporting up to 1Gb, for customers who are not co-located at the Exchange's datacenter. NASDAQ represented that it already makes available to co-located customers a 10Gb circuit connection and charges for each a $1000 initial installation charge as well as an ongoing Start Printed Page 49544monthly fee of $5000. The Exchange proposed to establish the same fees for non-co-located customers with a 10Gb circuit connection.[4]

NASDAQ represented that it also already makes available to both co-located and non-co-located customers direct connections capable of supporting up to 1Gb, with per connection monthly fees of $500 for co-located customers and $1000 for non co-located customers. According to the Exchange, monthly fees are higher for non-co-located customers because direct connections require NASDAQ to provide cabinet space and middleware for those customers' third-party vendors to connect into the datacenter and, ultimately, to the trading system. Finally, the Exchange represented that for non-co-located customers, it charges an optional installation fee of $925 if the customer chooses to use an on-site router.

After careful review, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with the requirements of the Act and the rules and regulations thereunder applicable to a national securities exchange.[5] In particular, the Commission finds that the proposed rule change is consistent with Section 6(b)(4) of the Act,[6] which requires that the rules of a national securities exchange provide for the equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among its members and issuers and other persons using its facilities, and with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,[7] which requires, among other things, that the rules of a national securities exchange be 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, and not be designed to permit unfair discrimination between customers, issuers, brokers, or dealers.

The Commission believes that the proposed fees for 10Gb and 1Gb direct circuit connections are reasonable and equitably allocated insofar as they are applied on the same terms to similarly-situated market participants. In addition, the Commission believes that the connectivity options described in the proposed rule change are not unfairly discriminatory because NASDAQ makes the 10Gb and 1Gb direct circuit connections uniformly available to all non-co-located customers who voluntarily request them and pay the fees as detailed in the proposal. As represented by NASDAQ, these fees are uniform for all such customers and are either the same as fees charged to co-located customers, or vary due to different costs incurred by NASDAQ associated with providing service to the two different customer types. Finally, the Commission believes that the proposal will further the protection of investors and the public interest because it will provide greater transparency regarding the connectivity options available to market participants.

It is therefore ordered, pursuant to Section 19(b)(2) of the Act,[8] that the proposed rule change (SR-NASDAQ-2010-077) be, and hereby is, approved.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[9]

Florence E. Harmon,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble


3.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 62392 (July 6, 2010), 75 FR 38857 (“Notice”).

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4.  According to the Exchange, NASDAQ provides an additional 1Gb copper connection option for co-located customers. NASDAQ represented that, given the technological constraints of copper connections over longer distances, it does not offer a copper connection option to users outside of its datacenter.

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5.  In approving 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. 2010-19972 Filed 8-12-10; 8:45 am]