May 30, 2003
Mr. Michael Ryan
Ms. Joanne Moffic-Silver
Ms. Kathryn L. Beck
Mr. Lanny A. Schwartz
Dear Mr. Ryan, Ms. Moffic-Silver, Ms. Beck, and Mr. Schwartz:
In your letter, dated, May 30, 2003, you request that the Securities and Exchange Commission ("Commission" or "SEC"), pursuant to Rule 11Aa3-2(f) under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 ("Exchange Act"),1 exempt the American Stock Exchange ("Amex"), the Chicago Board Options Exchange ("CBOE"), the International Securities Exchange ("ISE"), the Pacific Exchange ("PCX"), and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange ("Phlx") (collectively, the "Participants") from Section 12 of the Options Intermarket Linkage Plan ("Linkage Plan"). Section 12(a)(ii) of the Linkage Plan provides that the Participants must implement the Remaining Linkage Functionality, as defined in the Linkage Plan no later than April 30, 2003. Exchange Act Rule 11Aa3-2(d) requires each self-regulatory organization to comply with the terms of any effective national market system plan of which it is a participant.
The Linkage Plan is a national market system plan approved by the Commission pursuant to Section 11A of the Exchange Act2 and Rule 11Aa3-2.3 The Linkage Plan provides for the intermarket communication linkage among Participants.
Section 12(a)(ii) of the Linkage Plan requires that:
As the Participants have not yet fully implemented the Remaining Linkage Functionality, you request that the Commission, pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 11Aa3-2(f), exempt the Participants from compliance with Exchange Act Rule 11Aa3-2(d) and the requirements of Section 12 of the Linkage Plan, extending implementation of Phase II of the linkage until June 27, 2003.
On the basis of the representations and facts presented in your letter, the Commission grants an exemption to the Participants, pursuant to Exchange Act Rule 11Aa3-2(f), from the requirements of Exchange Act Rule 11Aa3-2(d), and Section 12 of the Linkage Plan, conditioned upon the Participants' successful implementation of Remaining Linkage Functionality no later than June 27, 2003. The Commission believes that this exemption is consistent with the public interest, the protection of investors, the maintenance of fair and orderly markets and the removal of impediments to, and perfection of the mechanisms of, a national market system.
Cc: Michael J. Simon, International Securities Exchange, Inc.
May 30, 2003
Elizabeth King, Esq.
Dear Ms. King:
On behalf of the Operating Committee ("Operating Committee") under the Plan for the Purpose of Creating and Operating an Intermarket Option Linkage ("Plan"), I am requesting an exemption for the American Stock Exchange, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, the International Securities Exchange, the Pacific Exchange and the Philadelphia Stock Exchange, Inc. (together, the "Plan Participants"), pursuant to Securities Exchange Act Rule 11Aa3-2(f)1, from the provisions of Securities Exchange Act Rule 11Aa3-2(d)2 and Section 12 of the Plan extending the implementation of the Remaining Linkage Functionality (known as "Phase II Functionality") to June 27, 2003.3
It is believed that the exemption is consistent with the public interest, the protection of investors, the maintenance of fair and orderly markets and the removal of impediments to, and perfection of the mechanisms of, a national market system, because such extension of time will allow the Plan Participants to provide more effective operation of Phase II Functionality for their members, the national market system and, ultimately, public investors.4
Please feel free to contact me at (215) 496-1615 if you have any questions or comments regarding this letter.
Presiding Chairman of the Operating Committee