On December 30, 2010, the Exchange filed an immediately effective proposal that established the pilot program being extended by this filing. The pilot program allowed transactions to take place in open outcry at a price of at least $0 but less than $1 per option contract until June 1, 2011.6
These lower priced transactions are traded pursuant to the same procedures applicable to $1 cabinet trades, except that pursuant to the pilot program (i) bids and offers for opening transactions are only permitted to accommodate closing transactions in order to limit use of the procedure to liquidations of existing positions, and (ii) the procedures are also made available for trading in options participating in the Penny Pilot Program.7
On May 31, 2011, the Exchange filed an immediately effective proposal that extended the pilot program until December 1, 2011 to consider whether to seek permanent approval of the temporary procedure.8
On November 30, 2011, the Exchange filed an immediately effective proposal that extended the pilot program until June 1, 2012.9
On May 29, 2012, the Exchange filed an immediately effective proposal that extended the pilot program until December 1, 2012.10
The Exchange now proposes an extension of the pilot program to allow additional time to consider its effects while the pilot program continues uninterrupted.
The Exchange believes that allowing a price of at least $0 but less than $1 will better accommodate the closing of options positions in series that are worthless or not actively traded, particularly due to recent market conditions which have resulted in a significant number of series being out-of-the-money. For example, a marketparticipant might have a long position in a call series with a strike price of $100 and the underlying stock might now be trading at $30. In such an instance, there might not otherwise be a market for that person to close-out its position even at the $1 cabinet price (e.g., the series might be quoted no bid).
The Exchange hereby seeks to extend the pilot period for such $1 cabinet trading until June 1, 2013. The Exchange seeks this extension to allow the procedures to continue without interruption.2. Statutory Basis
The Exchange believes that the proposed rule change is consistent with the provisions of Section 6 of the Act,11
in general, and with Section 6(b)(5) of the Act,12
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. Specifically, the Exchange believes that allowing for liquidations at a price less than $1 per option contract pursuant to the pilot program will better facilitate the closing of options positions that are worthless or not actively trading, especially in Penny Pilot issues where cabinet trades are not otherwise permitted. The Exchange believes the extension is of sufficient length to allow the Commission to assess the impact of the Exchange's authority to allow transactions to take place in open outcry at a price of at least $0 but less than $1 per option in accordance with its attendant obligations and conditions.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
The proposed rule change is effective upon filing pursuant to Section 19(b)(3)(A) of the Act13
and paragraph (f)(6) of Rule 19b-4 thereunder,14
in that the proposed rule change: (i) Does not significantly affect the protection of investors or the public interest; (ii) does not impose any significant burden on competition; and (iii) does not become operative for 30 days after the date of the filing, or such shorter time as the Commission may designate if consistent with the protection of investors and the public interest; provided the self-regulatory organization has given the Commission written notice of its intent to file the proposed rule change, along with a brief description and text of the proposed rule change, at least five business days prior to the date of filing of the proposed rule change, or such shorter time as designated by the Commission.15
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:Electronic Comments
* Use the Commission's Internet comment form (http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro.shtml); or
* Send an email firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include File Number SR-Phlx-2012-131 on the subject line.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-2012-131. 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 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-2012-131 and should be submitted on or before December 7, 2012.
Kevin M. O'Neill,