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February 6, 2013.
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 January 30, 2013, 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 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 Rule 7014(g). 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 amending Rule 7014(g), which establishes a pricing incentive program for members designated as Qualified Market Makers (“QMM”) under the terms of the rule. Under the QMM program, which was adopted in November 2012 on a six-month pilot basis,
a member may be designated as a QMM with respect to one or more of its MPIDs if:
- The member is not assessed any “Excess Order Fee” under Rule 7018 during the month; 
- Through such MPID the member quotes at the NBBO at least 25% of the time during regular market hours 
in an average of at least 1,000 securities during the month.
The proposed rule change addresses a circumstance in which a member seeking to be designated as a QMM terminates the use of one MPID and simultaneously commences use of another MPID during the course of a month. In that circumstance, NASDAQ believes that it is reasonable to allow the member to aggregate activity on the two MPIDs, essentially treating them like a single MPID, for the purpose of determining eligibility. By codifying this interpretation, the proposed rule change will enhance the transparency of the rule.
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. NASDAQ believes that the adoption of a clear policy with respect to the interpretation of Rule 7014(g) will promote members' understanding of the parameters of the rule and the efficiency of its administration.
NASDAQ further believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with Sections 6(b)(4) and (b)(5) of the Act,
in that it is consistent with an equitable allocation of reasonable dues, fees and other charges among members and issuers and other persons using any facility or system which NASDAQ operates or controls and is not unreasonably discriminatory. The addition of rule language stipulating the permissibility of aggregating two MPIDs when use of one is terminated during the course of the month establishes a standard that is clear and easy to administer. The provision is equitable and not unreasonably discriminatory because all members seeking to terminate the use of an MPID during the course of a month are subject to the same commonsense parameters, which do not unfairly penalize a member for transitioning order entry activity from one MPID to another, and because the standard is consistent with the overall goal of the QMM program to encourage members to improve market quality by quoting extensively at or near the inside.
B. Self-Regulatory Organization's Statement on Burden on Competition
NASDAQ 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. The change will adopt a clear and commonsense standard for members that wish to qualify for the QMM program but that terminate the use of one MPID and commence the use of another MPID during the course of the month. NASDAQ believes that in fact this change will promote competition and further the pro-competitive goals of encouraging members to improve market quality by quoting extensively at or near the inside, as it insures that a member that transitions MPIDs is not barred from participating in the program during the month of transition. Moreover, NASDAQ notes that because Start Printed Page 9973the market for order execution and routing is extremely competitive, members may readily opt to disfavor NASDAQ's execution services if they believe that alternatives offer them better value. Accordingly, NASDAQ does not believe that the proposed changes will impair the ability of members or competing order execution venues to maintain their competitive standing in the financial markets.
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
The Exchange has filed the proposed rule change pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A)(iii) of the Act 
and Rule 19b-4(f)(6) thereunder.
Because the 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 prior to 30 days from the date on which it was filed, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate, if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest, the proposed rule change has become effective pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act 
and Rule 19b-4(f)(6)(iii) thereunder.
The Exchange has asked the Commission to waive the 30-day operative delay.
The Commission believes that waiving the 30-day operative delay is consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest because it will allow a member that terminates one MPID and simultaneously commences use of another MPID during the course of a month to aggregate activity on the two MPIDs to determine eligibility for the QMM program during the month of transition without delay. Accordingly, the Commission designates the proposal operative upon filing.
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-NASDAQ-2013-016. 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 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Copies of such 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-NASDAQ-2013-016 and should be submitted on or before March 5, 2013.
For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.
Kevin M. O'Neill,
[FR Doc. 2013-03185 Filed 2-11-13; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 8011-01-P