in the United States on which securities options are traded have been authorized
under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 to agree to a "Plan for Reporting
of Consolidated Options Last Sale Reports and Quotation Information"
(the "Plan"). The exchanges that are parties to the Plan are referred
to as the "Participant Exchanges." The current Participant Exchanges
are shown below. The plan provides that any securities exchange approved
by the Securities and Exchange Commission for the trading of securities
options may become a Participant Exchange.
Effective January 1, 2010, OPRA is structured as a limited liability company ("LLC") organized under the Delaware Limited Liability Company Act, and the Plan serves as the limited liability company agreement under that Act. As it did prior to OPRA's being structured as an LLC, the Plan continues to provide that the system for reporting options information as described in the Plan is administered by the Participant Exchanges, except that instead of naming representatives to a governance/policy committee designated as OPRA, the Plan now provides for each Exchange to appoint one voting member to the Management Committee of OPRA LLC, and that Committee will be responsible for the governance of OPRA. In all respects relevant to OPRA's Vendors and Subscribers, the functions of OPRA and the terms on which persons are able to obtain access to options information provided by OPRA will be unchanged as a result of its being structured as an LLC.
OPRA is the securities information processor for market information generated
by trading of securities options in the United States. Last sale reports
and quotations are the core of the information that OPRA disseminates.
However, OPRA also disseminates certain other types of information with
respect to the number of options contracts traded, open
interest, end of day summaries, and certain kinds of administrative messages.
OPRA classifies recipients
of options information as either "Vendors" or as "Subscribers."
A Vendor is an entity that has the contractual right to retransmit options
information "externally," i.e., to persons outside its own organization.
Each vendor must enter into a "Vendor Agreement" directly with
OPRA. The Vendor Agreement describes the rights of the Vendor to receive
information and redistribute it to its customers (e.g., broker-dealers,
institutional investors, and individual investors). Vendors pay OPRA access
and usage fees.
is an entity or a person that has the right to use options information
only "internally," i.e., within the Subscriber's organization
(if the Subscriber is an entity) or himself or herself (if the Subscriber
is a human being). A broker-dealer that both uses information internally
and distributes it to others (e.g., its brokerage customers) is both a
Vendor and a Subscriber.
OPRA classifies Subscribers
as either "Professional Subscribers" or as "Nonprofessional
Subscribers." A Nonprofessional Subscriber is essentially an individual
person who will use the options information only in connection with individual
investment activities and not in connection with any trade or business
activities and not for the benefit of any other person or any entity,
and who is not employed in the securities industry or the commodity futures
industry or by a bank or an insurance company or an affiliate of either
to perform functions related to securities or commodity futures investment
or trading activity. If a person qualifies as a Nonprofessional Subscriber,
the person contracts with a Vendor to receive options information, and
the Vendor pays OPRA's fee for the Nonprofessional Subscribers receipt
of options information.
OPRA classifies all
Subscribers other than Nonprofessional Subscribers as Professional Subscribers.
A Professional Subscriber may contract directly with OPRA to receive options
information and pay fees
directly to OPRA. If a Professional Subscriber contracts directly with
OPRA, the fees that it pays are either "device-based", i.e.,
based on the number of devices that the Professional Subscriber has that
are capable of receiving options information, or based on the number of
"registered representatives" that the Professional Subscriber
has. (OPRA refers to fees based on the number of registered representatives
as "enterprise-rate" Professional Subscriber fees.)
As an alternative
to contracting directly with OPRA, a Professional Subscriber may contract
with a Vendor to receive options information. In this case, the Vendor
pays "usage-based" fees (sometimes called "per-query"
fees) to OPRA for the use of options information by the Professional Subscriber,
and the Vendor charges the Professional Subscriber for its use of options
information in accordance with the fee schedule established by the Vendor.