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Notice

Self-Regulatory Organizations; NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC; Notice of Filing of Proposed Rule Change for the Permanent Approval of the Exchange's Pilot Program To Permit the Exchange To Accept Inbound Options Orders Routed by Nasdaq Options Services LLC From NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc.

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Start Preamble May 2, 2013.

Pursuant to Section 19(b)(1) [1] of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 (the “Act”) [2] and Rule 19b-4 thereunder,[3] notice is hereby given that, on April 23, 2013, NASDAQ OMX PHLX LLC (the “Exchange” or “Phlx”) filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the “Commission”) the proposed rule change as described in Items I, II and III below, which Items have been prepared by the self-regulatory organization. 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 a rule change for the permanent approval of the Exchange's pilot program to permit the Exchange to accept inbound options orders routed by Nasdaq Options Services LLC (“NOS”) from NASDAQ OMX BX, Inc. (“BX”).

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 Start Printed Page 26827the 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 the Statutory Basis for, the Proposed Rule Change

1. Purpose

In conjunction with BX providing outbound routing services to all options markets using its affiliated routing broker, NOS,[4] Phlx proposed that NOS be permitted to route orders from BX to Phlx on a pilot basis, subject to certain limitations and conditions, as described below.[5] The current pilot program expires June 28, 2013.

NOS is a broker-dealer and member of The NASDAQ Stock Market LLC (“NASDAQ”), PHLX and BX. NOS provides all routing functions for BX Options, Phlx, NASDAQ and NASDAQ Options Market (“NOM”). BX, NASDAQ, NOM, Phlx and NOS are affiliates.[6] Accordingly, the affiliate relationship between Phlx and NOS, its member, raises the issue of an exchange's affiliation with a member of such exchange. Specifically, in connection with prior filings, the Commission has expressed concern that the affiliation of an exchange with one of its members raises the potential for unfair competitive advantage and potential conflicts of interest between an exchange's self-regulatory obligations and its commercial interests.[7]

Recognizing that the Commission has previously expressed concern regarding the potential for conflicts of interest in instances where a member firm is affiliated with an exchange of which it is a member, the Exchange previously proposed, and the Commission approved, limitations and conditions on NOS's affiliation with the Exchange.[8] Also recognizing that the Commission has expressed concern regarding the potential for conflicts of interest in instances where a member firm is affiliated with an exchange to which it is routing orders, the Exchange previously proposed, and the Commission approved,[9] NOS's affiliation with the Exchange to permit the Exchange to accept inbound orders that NOS routes in its capacity as a facility of BX, subject to the certain limitations and conditions. The Exchange now proposes to permit Phlx to accept inbound options orders that NOS routes in its capacity as a facility of BX on a permanent basis, subject to the limitations and conditions of this pilot:

  • First, the Exchange and FINRA maintain a Regulatory Contract, as well as an agreement pursuant to Rule 17d-2 under the Act (“17d-2 Agreement”).[10] Pursuant to the Regulatory Contract and the 17d-2 Agreement, FINRA is allocated regulatory responsibilities to review NOS's compliance with certain Exchange rules.[11] Pursuant to the Regulatory Contract, however, Phlx retains ultimate responsibility for enforcing its rules with respect to NOS.
  • Second, FINRA monitors NOS for compliance with the Exchange's trading rules, and collects and maintains certain related information.[12]
  • Third, FINRA provides a report to the Exchange's chief regulatory officer (“CRO”), on a quarterly basis, that: (i) Quantifies all alerts (of which FINRA is aware) that identify NOS as a participant that has potentially violated Commission or Exchange rules, and (ii) lists all investigations that identify NOS as a participant that has potentially violated Commission or Exchange rules.
  • Fourth, the Exchange has in place Phlx Rule 985(c), which requires The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc., as the holding company owning both the Exchange and NOS, to establish and maintain procedures and internal controls reasonably designed to ensure that NOS does not develop or implement changes to its system, based on non-public information obtained regarding planned changes to the Exchange's systems as a result of its affiliation with the Exchange, until such information is available generally to similarly situated Exchange members, in connection with the provision of inbound order routing to the Exchange.

The Exchange has met all the above-listed conditions. By meeting the above conditions, the Exchange has set up mechanisms that protect the independence of the Exchange's regulatory responsibility with respect to NOS, as well as demonstrate that NOS cannot use any information advantage it may have because of its affiliation with the Exchange. Because the Exchange has met all the above-listed conditions, it now seeks permanent approval of this inbound routing relationship. The Exchange will continue to comply with the conditions 1-4 stated above.

2. Statutory Basis

The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of Section 6 of the Act,[13] in general, and with Sections 6(b)(5) of the Act,[14] 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, because the proposed rule change will allow the Exchange to continue to receive inbound orders from NOS, acting in its capacity as a facility of BX, in a manner consistent with prior approvals and established protections. The Exchange believes that these conditions establish mechanisms that protect the independence of the Exchange's regulatory responsibility with respect to NOS, as well as ensure that NOS cannot use any information it Start Printed Page 26828may have because of its affiliation with the Exchange to its advantage.

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. Permanent approval of the current pilot program does not raise any issues of intra-market competition because it involves inbound routing from an affiliated exchange. Nor does it result in a burden on competition among exchanges, because there are many competing options exchanges that provide routing services, including through an affiliate.

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

Within 45 days of the date of publication of this notice in the Federal Register or within such longer period (i) as the Commission may designate up to 90 days of such date if it finds such longer period to be appropriate and publishes its reasons for so finding or (ii) as to which the Exchange consents, the Commission shall: (a) By order approve or disapprove such proposed rule change, or (b) institute proceedings to determine whether the proposed rule change should be 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:

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-2013-42. 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 will also 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-2013-42 and should be submitted on or before May 29, 2013.

Start Signature

For the Commission, by the Division of Trading and Markets, pursuant to delegated authority.[15]

Kevin M. O'Neill,

Deputy Secretary.

End Signature End Preamble

Footnotes

1.  15 U.S.C.78s(b)(1).

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4.  Securities Exchange Act Release No. 67256 (June 26, 2012), 77 FR 39277 (July 2, 2012) (SR-BX-2012-030).

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5.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 67294 (June 28, 2012), 77 FR 39771 (July 5, 2012) (SR-Phlx-2012-68).

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6.  See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 58324 (August 7, 2008), 73 FR 46936 (August 12, 2008) (SR-BSE-2008-02; SR-BSE-2008-23; SR-BSE-2008-25; SR-BSECC-2008-01) (order approving NASDAQ OMX's acquisition of BX); and 58179 (July 17, 2008), 73 FR 42874 (July 23, 2008) (SR-Phlx-2008-31) (order approving NASDAQ OMX's acquisition of Phlx).

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7.  See Securities Exchange Act Release Nos. 59153 (December 23, 2008), 73 FR 80485 (December 31, 2008) (SR-NASDAQ-2008-098); and 62736 (August 17, 2010), 75 FR 51861 (August 23, 2010) (SR-NASDAQ-2010-100). See also Securities Exchange Act Release No. 58135 (July 10, 2008), 73 FR 40898 (July 16, 2008) (SR-NASDAQ-2008-061) (permitting NOS to be affiliated with Phlx).

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8.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 59995 (May 28, 2009), 74 FR 26750 (June 3, 2009) (SR-Phlx-2009-32).

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9.  See Securities Exchange Act Release No. 67294 (June 28, 2012), 77 FR 39771 (July 5, 2012) (SR-Phlx-2012-68).

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11.  NOS is also subject to independent oversight by FINRA, its designated examining authority, for compliance with financial responsibility requirements.

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12.  Pursuant to the Regulatory Contract, both FINRA and the Exchange collect and maintain all alerts, complaints, investigations and enforcement actions in which NOS (in its capacity as a facility of BX routing orders to Phlx) is identified as a participant that has potentially violated applicable Commission or Exchange rules. The Exchange and FINRA retain these records in an easily accessible manner in order to facilitate any potential review conducted by the Commission's Office of Compliance Inspections and Examinations.

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[FR Doc. 2013-10873 Filed 5-7-13; 8:45 am]

BILLING CODE 8011-01-P