March 27, 2012.
Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (“Act”) 
, and Rule 19b-4 
thereunder, notice is hereby given that, on March 19, 2012, NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC (“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 increase its Options Regulatory Fee (“ORF”).
While changes to the Pricing Schedule pursuant to this proposal are effective upon filing, the Exchange has designated these changes to be operative June 1, 2012.
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, 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
The purpose of the proposed rule change is to amend the ORF to increase it from $0.004 per contract to $0.0045 per contract in order to recoup increased regulatory expenses while also ensuring that the ORF will not exceed costs.
The ORF is assessed to each member for all options transactions executed or cleared by the member that are cleared at 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). The Exchange monitors the amount of revenue collected from the ORF to ensure that it, in combination with other regulatory fees and fines, does not exceed regulatory costs. The ORF is imposed upon all transactions executed by a member, even if such transactions do not take place on the Exchange.
The ORF also includes options transactions that are not executed by an Exchange member but are ultimately cleared by an Exchange member.
The ORF is not charged for member proprietary 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. 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.
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 will continue to monitor 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 exceed regulatory costs, the Exchange will adjust the ORF by submitting a fee change filing to the Commission.
While changes to the Pricing Schedule pursuant to this proposal are effective upon filing, the Exchange has designated these changes to be operative on June 1, 2012.
2. Statutory Basis
The Exchange believes that its proposal to amend its Pricing Schedule is consistent with Section 6(b) of the Act 
in general, and furthers the objectives of Section 6(b)(4) of the Act 
in particular, in that it is an equitable allocation of reasonable fees and other charges among Exchange members. The Exchange believes that the fee change is reasonable because the Exchange's collection of ORF has declined due to a decrease in industry volume and the adjustment would serve to provide the Exchange with additional ORF. The additional ORF offsets regulatory expenses, but does not exceed regulatory costs.
The Exchange believes that the ORF is equitable and not unfairly discriminatory because it is objectively allocated to Exchange members in that it would continue to be charged to all members on all of their transactions that clear as customer at OCC. The Exchange is assessing higher fees to those member firms that require more Exchange regulatory services based on the amount of customer options business they conduct. In addition, the ORF seeks to recover the costs of supervising and regulating members, including performing routine surveillances, investigations, examinations, financial monitoring, and policy, rulemaking, interpretive, and enforcement activities. The ORF is not charged for member proprietary 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. Additionally, 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.
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.
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. If the Commission takes such action, the Commission shall institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule should be approved or disapproved.
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:
- 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-2012-36. This file number should be included on the subject line if email 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-2012-36 and should be submitted on or before April 23, 2012.
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.
Kevin M. O'Neill,
[FR Doc. 2012-7771 Filed 3-30-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P