September 21, 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 September 14, 2012, The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“NASDAQ” or “Exchange”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I and II 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 the Substance of the Proposed Rule Change
The Exchange proposes a rule change to offer members the ability to pay a regulatory fine pursuant to an installment plan, under certain conditions. The text of the proposed rule change is available at http://nasdaq.cchwallstreet.com, at the Exchange's principal office, 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
NASDAQ is proposing to amend Rule 8320 governing “Payment of Fines, Other Monetary Sanctions, or Costs; Summary Action for Failure to Pay” to offer members the ability to pay a regulatory fine pursuant to an installment plan, under certain conditions. In order for a member to be eligible to pay a regulatory fine via an installment plan, the fine under the applicable letter of acceptance, waiver, and consent (“AWC”) 
must be $50,000 or more. A fine of less than $50,000 is not eligible for the installment plan. When submitting its AWC, the member must check the installment plan option on the election of payment form included with the AWC. A sample election of payment form and AWC are included in Exhibit 3 
to this proposed rule change. A down payment of twenty-five percent (25%) or more of the total fine must be submitted with the signed AWC.
After receipt of the AWC and down payment, an installment package, including a promissory note and payment schedule, will be mailed to the member. A sample promissory note and payment schedule are included in Exhibit 3 to this proposed rule change. The member must then submit an executed (signed and notarized) promissory note for the unpaid balance Start Printed Page 59440of the fine, along with its first installment payment. The term of the installment plan may not exceed four years after the execution of the AWC. The member may elect monthly or quarterly payments.
2. Statutory Basis
NASDAQ believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of Section 6 of the Act,
in general, and with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,
in particular, in that the proposal is designed to prevent fraudulent and manipulative acts and practices, to promote just and equitable principles of trade, 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 of a free and open market and a national market system, and, in general, to protect investors and the public interest. In addition, NASDAQ believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of Section 6(b)(6) and 6(b)(7) of the Act,
which require an exchange to provide fair procedures for the disciplining of members and persons associated with members. Specifically, NASDAQ believes that the proposal will promote the settlement of disciplinary cases by allowing members to make installment payments. NASDAQ believes that settlement is a beneficial method of disciplining members because it imposes meaningful sanctions on the member while avoiding the cost and uncertainty of a protracted disciplinary proceeding. NASDAQ further believes that affording members with the opportunity to pay a regulatory fine over a period of time may allow NASDAQ to impose higher fines in appropriate circumstances and diminish the risk that sanctioned members will fail to pay.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
The Exchange does not believe that the proposed rule change will result in any burden on competition that is not necessary or appropriate in furtherance of the purposes of the Act, as amended.
C. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Comments on the Proposed Rule Change Received From Members, Participants, or Others
Written comments were neither solicited nor 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 from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, it has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 
and subparagraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder.
A proposed rule change filed under Rule 19b-4(f)(6) 
normally does not become operative prior to 30 days after the date of the filing. However, pursuant to Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii),
the Commission may designate a shorter time if such action is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest. The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay so that NASDAQ may offer members that are contemplating the execution of an AWC the option of entering into an installment arrangement as soon as possible. The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest as it will provide members the option of paying large fines in installments.
Therefore, the Commission hereby waives the 30-day operative delay and designates the proposed rule change to be operative upon filing with the Commission.
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 change 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-NASDAQ-2012-106. 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 on official business days between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Copies of such filing also will be available for inspection and copying at the principal offices 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-NASDAQ-2012-106, and should be submitted on or before October 18, 2012.
Start Printed Page 59441
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.
Kevin M. O'Neill,
[FR Doc. 2012-23798 Filed 9-26-12; 8:45 am]
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