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Options 5 Order Protection and Locked and Crossed Markets
Section 1. Definitions

The following terms shall have the meaning specified in this Rule solely for the purpose of this Options 5:

(1) "Best Bid" and "Best Offer" mean the highest priced Bid and the lowest priced Offer.

(2) "Bid" or "Offer" means the bid price or the offer price communicated by a member of an Eligible Exchange to any Broker/Dealer, or to any customer, at which it is willing to buy or sell, as either principal or agent, but shall not include indications of interest.

(3) "Broker/Dealer" means an individual or organization registered with the SEC in accordance with Section 15(b)(1) of the Exchange Act or a foreign broker or dealer exempt from such registration pursuant to Rule 15a-6 under the Exchange Act.

(4) "Complex Trade" means: (i) the execution of an order in an option series in conjunction with the execution of one or more related order(s) in different option series in the same underlying security occurring at or near the same time in a ratio that is equal to or greater than one-to-three (.333) and less than or equal to three-to-one (3.0) and for the purpose of executing a particular investment strategy; or (ii) the execution of a stock-option order to buy or sell a stated number of units of an underlying stock or a security convertible into the underlying stock ("convertible security") coupled with the purchase or sale of option contract(s) on the opposite side of the market representing either (A) the same number of units of the underlying stock or convertible security, or (B) the number of units of the underlying stock or convertible security necessary to create a delta neutral position, but in no case in a ratio greater than eight (8) option contracts per unit of trading of the underlying stock or convertible security established for that series by the Clearing Corporation.

(5) "Crossed Market" means a quoted market in which a Protected Bid is higher than a Protected Offer in a series of an Eligible Class.

(6) "Customer" means an individual or organization that is not a Broker/Dealer.

(7) "Eligible Exchange" means a national securities exchange registered with the SEC in accordance with Section 6(a) of the Exchange Act that: (a) is a Participant Exchange in OCC (as that term is defined in Section VII of the OCC by-laws); (b) is a party to the OPRA Plan (as that term is described in Section I of the OPRA Plan); and (c) if the national securities exchange chooses not to become a party to this Plan, is a participant in another plan approved by the Commission providing for comparable Trade-Through and Locked and Crossed Market protection.

(8) "Intermarket Sweep Order (ISO)" means a limit order for an options series that meets the following requirements:

(a) When routed to an Eligible Exchange, the order is identified as an ISO;

(b) Simultaneously with the routing of the order, one or more additional ISOs, as necessary, are routed to execute against the full displayed size of any Protected Bid, in the case of a limit order to sell, or any Protected Offer, in the case of a limit order to buy, for the options series with a price that is superior to the limit price of the ISO, with such additional orders also marked as ISOs.

(9) "Locked Market" means a quoted market in which a Protected Bid is equal to a Protected Offer in a series of an Eligible Options Class.

(10) "NBBO" means the national best bid and offer in an option series as calculated by an Eligible Exchange.

(11) "Non-Firm" means, with respect to quotations, that Members of an Eligible Exchange are relieved of their obligation to be firm for their quotations pursuant to Rule 602 under the Exchange Act.

(12) "OCC" means The Options Clearing Corporation.

(13) "OPRA" means the Options Price Reporting Authority.

(14) "OPRA Plan" means the plan filed with the SEC pursuant to Section 11Aa(1)(C)(iii) of the Exchange Act, approved by the SEC and declared effective as of January 22, 1976, as from time to time amended.

(15) "Participant" means an Eligible Exchange whose participation in the Plan has become effective pursuant to Section 3(c) of the Plan.

(16) "Plan" means the Options Order Protection and Locked/Crossed Market Plan, as such plan may be amended from time to time.

(17) "Protected Bid" or "Protected Offer" means a Bid or Offer in an options series, respectively, that:

(a) Is disseminated pursuant to the OPRA Plan; and

(b) Is the Best Bid or Best Offer, respectively, displayed by an Eligible Exchange.

(18) "Protected Quotation" means a Protected Bid or Protected Offer.

(19) "Quotation" means a Bid or Offer.

(20) "Trade-Through" means a transaction in an options series at a price that is lower than a Protected Bid or higher than a Protected Offer.

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039).

Section 2. Order Protection

(a) Avoidance of Trade-Throughs. Except as provided in paragraph (b) below, Members shall not effect Trade-Throughs..

(b) Exceptions to Trade-Through Liability. The provisions of paragraph (a) pertaining to the satisfaction of Trade-Throughs shall not apply under the following circumstances:

(1) If an Eligible Exchange repeatedly fails to respond within one second to incoming orders attempting to access its Protected Quotations, the Exchange may bypass those Protected Quotations by:

(i) Notifying the non-responding Eligible Exchange immediately after (or at the same time as) electing self-help; and

(ii) Assessing whether the cause of the problem lies with its own systems and, if so, taking immediate steps to resolve the problem;

Any time a determination to bypass Protected Quotations of an Eligible Exchange is made pursuant to this sub-paragraph, the Exchange must promptly document the reasons supporting such determination.

(2) The transaction traded through a Protected Quotation being disseminated by an Eligible Exchange during a trading rotation;

(3) The transaction that constituted the Trade-Through occurred when there was a Crossed Market;

(4) The transaction that constitutes the Trade-Through is the execution of an order identified as an ISO;

(5) The transaction that constitutes the Trade-Through is effected by the Exchange while simultaneously routing an ISO to execute against the full displayed size of any better-priced Protected Quotation;

(6) The Eligible Exchange displaying the Protected Quotation that was traded through had displayed, within one second prior to execution of the Trade-Through, a Best bid or Best offer, as applicable, for the options series with a price that was equal or inferior to the price of the Trade-Through transaction;

(7) The Protected Quotation traded through was being disseminated from an Eligible Exchange whose Quotations were Non-Firm with respect to such options series;

(8) The transaction that constituted the Trade-Through was effected as a portion of a Complex Trade;

(9) The transaction that constituted the Trade-Through was the execution of an order for which, at the time of receipt of the order, a Member had guaranteed an execution at no worse than a specified price (a "stopped order"), where:

(i) the stopped order was for the account of a Customer;

(ii) the Customer agreed to the specified price on an order-by-order basis; and

(iii) the price of the Trade-Through was, for a stopped buy order, lower than the national Best Bid in the options series at the time of execution, or, for a stopped sell order, higher than the national Best Offer in the options series at the time of execution;

(10) The transaction that constituted the Trade-Through was the execution of an order that was stopped at a price that did not Trade-Through an Eligible Exchange at the time of the stop; or

(11) The transaction that constituted the Trade-Through was the execution of an order at a price that was not based, directly or indirectly, on the quoted price of the options series at the time of execution and for which the material terms were not reasonably determinable at the time the commitment to execute the order was made.

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039); amended January 29, 2020 (SR-BX-2020-001).

Section 3. Locked and Crossed Markets

(a) Prohibition. Except for quotations that fall within the provisions of paragraph (b) of this Rule, Members shall reasonably avoid displaying, and shall not engage in a pattern or practice of displaying, any quotations that lock or cross a Protected Quotation.

(b) Exceptions.

(1) The locking or crossing quotation was displayed at a time when the Exchange was experiencing a failure, material delay, or malfunction of its systems or equipment;

(2) The locking or crossing quotation was displayed at a time when there is a Crossed Market; or

(3) The Member simultaneously routed an ISO to execute against the full displayed size of any locked or crossed Protected Bid or Protected Offer.

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039).

Section 4. Order Routing

(a) BX offers two routing strategies, SEEK and SRCH. Each of these routing strategies will be explained in more detail below. An order may in the alternative be marked Do Not Route or "DNR". The Exchange notes that for purposes of this Rule the System will route SEEK and SRCH Orders with no other contingencies. Immediate or Cancel ("IOC") Orders will be cancelled immediately if not executed, and will not be routed. The System checks the Order Book for available contracts for potential execution against the SEEK or SRCH Orders. After the System checks the Order Book for available contracts, orders are sent to other available market centers for potential execution. When checking the Order Book, the System will seek to execute at the price at which it would send the order to an away market. For purposes of this Rule, a Route Timer shall not exceed one second and shall begin at the time orders are accepted into the System, and the System will consider whether an order can be routed at the conclusion of each Route Timer. Finally, for purposes of this Rule, "exposure" or "exposing" an order shall mean a notification sent to participants with the price, size, and side of interest that is available for execution. Exposure notifications will be sent to participants in accordance with the routing procedures described in Options 5, Section 4(a)(iii) below except if an incoming order is joining an already established BBO price when the ABBO is locked or crossed with the BBO, in which case such order will join the established BBO price and no exposure notification will be sent. An order exposure will be sent if the order size is modified. For purposes of this Rule BX's opening process is governed by Options 3, Section 8 and includes an opening after a trading halt ("Opening Process"). Routing options may be combined with all available order types and times-in-force, with the exception of order types and times-in-force whose terms are inconsistent with the terms of a particular routing option. The term "System routing table" refers to the proprietary process for determining the specific trading venues to which the System routes orders and the order in which it routes them. The Exchange reserves the right to maintain a different System routing table for different routing options and to modify the System routing table at any time without notice. The order routing process shall be available to Participants from 9:30 a.m. Eastern Time until market close and shall route orders as described below. Participants can designate orders as either available for routing or not available for routing. All routing of orders shall comply with Options 5, Options Order Protection and Locked and Crossed Market Rules.

(i) Priority of Routed Orders. Orders sent to other markets do not retain time priority with respect to other orders in the System and the System shall continue to execute other orders while routed orders are away at another market center. Once routed by the System, an order becomes subject to the rules and procedures of the destination market including, but not limited to, order cancellation. A routed order can be for less than the original incoming order's size. If a routed order is subsequently returned, in whole or in part, that routed order, or its remainder, shall receive a new time stamp reflecting the time of its return to the System, unless any portion of the original order remains on the System, in which case the routed order shall retain its timestamp and its priority.

(ii) Options Participants whose orders are routed to away markets shall be obligated to honor such trades that are executed on away markets to the same extent they would be obligated to honor a trade executed on the Exchange.

(A) BX Options shall route orders in options via Nasdaq Execution Services, LLC ("NES"), a broker-dealer that is a member of an unaffiliated SRO which is the designated examining authority for the broker-dealer. NES serves as the Routing Facility of BX Options. The sole function of the Routing Facility will be to route orders in options listed and open for trading on BX Options to away markets either directly or through one or more third-party unaffiliated routing broker-dealers pursuant to BX Options rules on behalf of BX Options. The Exchange and NES may not use a routing broker for which the Exchange or any affiliate of the Exchange is the designated examining authority. The Routing Facility is subject to regulation as a facility of BX, including the requirement to file proposed rule changes under Section 19 of the Act.

(B) Use of NES to route orders to other market centers is optional. Parties that do not desire to use NES must designate orders as not available for routing (a DNR Order, as described in subparagraph(iii)(A) below).

(C) BX Options shall establish and maintain procedures and internal controls reasonably designed to adequately restrict the flow of confidential and proprietary information between the Exchange and its facilities (including the Routing Facility), and any other entity; or, where there is a routing broker, the Exchange, the Routing Facility and any routing broker, and any other entity, including any affiliate of the routing broker (and if the routing broker or any of its affiliates engages in any other business activities other than providing routing services to the Exchange, between the segment of the routing broker or affiliate that provides the other business activities and the segment of the routing broker that provides the routing services).

(D) The books, records, premises, officers, directors, agents, and employees of the Routing Facility, as a facility of the Exchange, shall be deemed to be the books, records, premises, officers, directors, agents, and employees of the Exchange for purposes of and subject to oversight pursuant to the Exchange Act. The books and records of the Routing Facility, as a facility of the Exchange, shall be subject at all times to inspection and copying by the Exchange and the Commission.

(E) Market Access. In addition to the Exchange Rules regarding routing to away trading centers, NES has, pursuant to Rule 15c3-5 under the Act, implemented certain tests designed to mitigate risks associated with providing the Exchange's Members with access to such away trading centers. Pursuant to the policies and procedures developed by NES to comply with Rule 15c3-5, if an order or series of orders are deemed to be violative of applicable pre-trade requirements under Rule 15c3-5, the order will be rejected prior to routing and/or NES will seek to cancel the order if it has been routed.

(F) The Exchange will determine the logic that provides when, how, and where orders are routed away to other exchanges. Except as provided in subparagraph (f) below, the routing broker(s) cannot change the terms of an order or the routing instructions, nor does the routing broker have any discretion about where to route an order.

(iii) The following order types are available:

(A) DNR Order. A DNR Order will never be routed outside of BX regardless of the prices displayed by away markets. A DNR Order may execute on the Exchange at a price equal to or better than, but not inferior to, the best away market price but, if that best away market remains, the DNR Order will remain in the BX Order Book and be displayed at a price one minimum price variation ("MPV") inferior to that away best bid/offer. If the DNR Order is locking or crossing the ABBO, the DNR Order shall be entered into the Order Book at the ABBO price and displayed one MPV away from the ABBO. The Exchange shall immediately expose the order at the ABBO to participants, provided the option series has opened for trading. Any incoming order interacting with such a resting DNR Order will execute at the ABBO price, unless the ABBO is improved to a price which crosses the DNR's displayed price, in which case the incoming order will execute at the previous ABBO price. Should the best away market change its price to an inferior price level, the DNR Order will automatically re-price from its one MPV inferior to the original away best bid/offer price to one minimum trading increment away from the new away best bid/offer price or its original limit price, and expose such orders at the ABBO to participants only if the repriced order locks or crosses the ABBO. Once priced at its original limit price, it will remain at that price until executed or cancelled. Should the best away market improve its price such that it locks or crosses the DNR Order limit price, the Exchange will execute the resulting incoming order that is routed from the away market that locked or crossed the DNR Order limit price.

(B) SEEK Order. SEEK is a routing option pursuant to which an order will first check the System for available contracts for execution, and then is sent to other available market centers for potential execution. Orders initiate their own route timers and are routed in the order in which their route timers end.

(1) If a SEEK is received during an Opening Process it may route as part of the Opening Cross pursuant to Options 3, Section 8(b)(7).

(2) If a SEEK Order is received after an Opening Process and it is marketable against the ABBO when the ABBO is better than the displayed Exchange BBO, a Route Timer will initiate and expose the SEEK Order at the ABBO to allow market participants an opportunity to interact with the remainder of the SEEK Order. During the Route Timer, the SEEK Order will be included in the displayed Exchange BBO, unless the SEEK Order locks or crosses the ABBO, in which case it will be entered into the Order Book at the ABBO price and displayed one MPV away from the ABBO.

(3) If during the Route Timer in subparagraph (2) above any new interest arrives opposite the SEEK order that is equal to or better than the ABBO price, the SEEK Order will trade against such new interest at the ABBO price. If during the Route Timer, the ABBO moves and crosses the SEEK Order, any new interest arrives opposite the SEEK Order that is marketable against the SEEK Order will trade at the SEEK Order price. When checking the Order Book, the System will seek to execute at the price at which it would send the order to a destination market center. Eligible unexecuted orders will continue to be routed as described in subparagraph (B)(2).

(4) If contracts remain unexecuted after routing, they are posted on the Order Book at its limit price. While on the Order Book at the limit price, should the order subsequently be locked or crossed by another market center, the System will not re-expose or route the order to the locking or crossing market center.

(5) SEEK Orders will not be eligible for routing until the next time the option series is subject to a new Opening Process.

(C) SRCH Order. SRCH Order is a routing option pursuant to which an order will first check the System for available contracts for execution, and then is sent to other available market centers for potential execution. Orders initiate their own route timers and are routed in the order in which their route timers end.

(1) If a SRCH Order is received during an Opening Process it may route as part of the Opening Cross pursuant to Options 3, Section 8(b)(7). A SRCH Order received after the Opening Process that is marketable against the ABBO when the ABBO is better than the displayed Exchange BBO will initiate a Route Timer and expose the SRCH Order at the ABBO to allow market participants an opportunity to interact with the remainder of the SRCH Order.

(2) During the Route Timer described in subparagraph (1), the SRCH Order will be included in the displayed Exchange BBO, unless the SRCH Order locks or crosses the ABBO, in which case it will be entered into the Order Book at the ABBO price and displayed one MPV away from the ABBO. If there exists a locked market upon receipt of the SRCH Order, the SRCH Order may display at the locked ABBO price.

(3) If, during the Route Timer described in subparagraph (1), any new interest arrives opposite the SRCH Order that is equal to or better than the ABBO price, the SRCH order will trade against such new interest at the ABBO price. If during the Route Timer, the ABBO moves and crosses the SRCH Order, any new interest arrives opposite the SRCH Order that is marketable against the SRCH Order will trade at the SRCH Order price. When checking the Order Book, the System will seek to execute at the price at which it would send the order to a destination market center. Eligible unexecuted orders will continue to be routed as described in subparagraph (C)(1).

(4) If contracts remain un-executed after routing, they are posted on the Order Book at its limit price. While on the Order Book at the limit price, should the order subsequently be locked or crossed by another market center, the order will not re-expose and may route at the end of route timer.

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039).

Section 5. Cancellation of Orders and Error Account.

(a) The Exchange or NES may cancel orders as either deems to be necessary to maintain fair and orderly markets if a technical or systems issue occurs at the Exchange, NES, or a routing destination. The Exchange or NES shall provide notice of the cancellation to affected Members as soon as practicable.

(b) NES shall maintain an error account for the purpose of addressing positions that result from a technical or systems issue at NES, the Exchange, a routing destination, or a non-affiliate third-party Routing Broker that affects one or more orders ("error positions").

(1) For purposes of this Rule an error position shall not include any position that results from an order submitted by a Member to the Exchange that is executed on the Exchange and automatically processed for clearance and settlement on a locked-in basis.

(2) Except as provided in paragraph 3 below, NES shall not (i) accept any positions in its error account from an account of a Member, or (ii) permit any Member to transfer any positions from the Member's account to NES's error account.

(3) If a technical or systems issue results in the Exchange not having valid clearing instructions for a Member to a trade, NES may assume that Member's side of the trade so that the trade can be automatically processed for clearance and settlement on a locked-in basis.

(c) In connection with a particular technical or systems issue, NES or the Exchange shall either (i) assign all resulting error positions to Members in accordance with subparagraph (A) below, or (ii) have all resulting error positions liquidated in accordance with subparagraph (B) below. Any determination to assign or liquidate error positions, as well as any resulting assignments, shall be made in a nondiscriminatory fashion.

(A) NES or the Exchange shall assign all error positions resulting from a particular technical or systems issue to the Members affected by that technical or systems issue if NES or the Exchange:

(i) determines that it has accurate and sufficient information (including valid clearing information) to assign the positions to all of the Members affected by that technical or systems issue;

(ii) determines that it has sufficient time pursuant to normal clearance and settlement deadlines to evaluate the information necessary to assign the positions to all of the Members affected by that technical or systems issue; and

(iii) has not determined to cancel all orders affected by that technical or systems issue in accordance with paragraph (a) above.

(B) If NES or the Exchange is unable to assign all error positions resulting from a particular technical or systems issue to all of the affected Members in accordance with subparagraph (A) above, or if NES or the Exchange determines to cancel all orders affected by the technical or systems issue in accordance with subparagraph (a) above, then NES shall liquidate the error positions as soon as practicable. NES shall:

(i) provide complete time and price discretion for the trading to liquidate the error positions to a third-party broker-dealer and shall not attempt to exercise any influence or control over the timing or methods of such trading; and

(ii) establish and enforce policies and procedures that are reasonably designed to restrict the flow of confidential and proprietary information between the third-party broker-dealer and NES/the Exchange associated with the liquidation of the error positions.

(d) NES and the Exchange shall make and keep records to document all determinations to treat positions as error positions and all determinations for the assignment of error positions to Members or the liquidation of error positions, as well as records associated with the liquidation of error positions through the third-party broker-dealer.

Adopted October 23, 2019 (SR-BX-2019-039).

 
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