Minnesota bill targets Apple App Store

A proposed bill in the Minnesota state legislature would force Apple’s App Store and Alphabet’s derivative Google Play store to keep the products of Minnesota developers in their app stores even if those developers using their own system to charge customers, bypassing Apple’s and Google’s in-app payment systems.

A similar bill, one that was drafted by drafted by an Epic Games lobbyist, no less, was voted down in North Dakota last week.

Apple App Store on Apple devices
Apple’s App Store

Briana Bierschbach and Briana Bierschbach for Star Tribune:

“A lot of people are concerned about the increased influence and power that Big Tech has, and I think there’s a lot of interest in trying to make sure that we have a fair and open digital economy,” said Rep. Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids, who is sponsoring the bill in the House.

Stephenson and other House Democrats see this as an extension of the antitrust and net neutrality debate, while the lead in the GOP-controlled Senate said he wants to send a message to Silicon Valley after Donald Trump’s ban and removal from Twitter and other social media platforms.

“That to me is a huge problem,” said Sen. Mark Koran, R-North Branch. “They basically deleted a president. Those who are taking that victory lap, that is going to be a short-lived celebration, because that cancel culture is coming for them too.”

Under the proposed bill, Apple and Google could not retaliate against a developer for using an alternative system to charge customers.

MacDailyNews Take: We want to sell MacDailyNews T-shirts and mousepads in Target, using their physical stores, roof, heat, cooling, electricity, floor space, staff, parking lot, their online store, server capacity, storage, more electricity, staff, etc., but we want to keep 100% of our sales. That’s fair, right?

Obviously, using exceedingly simple logic that even a five-year-old could understand, this Minnesota App Store bill is ill-conceived. Did some video game company lobbyist scribble out this one, too, before hooking some gullible politician ignoramuses to sponsor it?

The best minds are not in government. If any were, business would steal them away. — Ronald Reagan

31 Comments

  1. Re MDN take: Apparently Target would only be required to provide free shelf space for products from Minnesota companies. That’s a great political argument. Violate the Constitution by taking private property without due process or the payment of compensation, but only do it to California corporations for the benefit of local voters and political contributors. I have a little trouble imagining that the current makeup of the Supreme Court of the United States would find that socialist scheme acceptable.

  2. If developers were smart about this, they would set a higher price for the APP store versions, thereby encouraging users to buy from them directly from the developer’s site but still getting the exposure via the APP stores. If users want the “assurance” and “benefit” of the APP store, they can pay for the privilege. Everyone wins.

    Problem is that Apple does not allow side-loading on iOS devices. That is the crux of the issue that should be addressed.

  3. The only two entities that have the right to determine which apps are hosted on Apple’s app store and compatible with an iPhone running IOS is Apple. period, end of story!

    Sorry one correction. The only two entities that have the right to determine which apps are hosted on Apple’s app store and compatible with a iPhone running IOS is Apple and the CCP (communist party of china). Period, end of story.

      1. Apple doesn’t determine who can use their phone or buy products on their systems. The real analogy would be Woolworth’s deciding not to sell a product. I’m sure they did that often.

      2. You realize that the Woolworth’s incident was efffective was because the law was on the colored men’s side. Woolworth’s did not provide ‘equal’ facilities per the law. If there was a lunch counter area for colored people with equal service there would not have been any ‘news’.

        1. The “separate but equal” doctrine, and the state laws that implemented it, were held to violate the Fourteenth Amendment in 1954. The Woolworth sit-ins began in 1960. Although excluding non-white customers was not illegal for the store until the Civil Rights Act of 1965, it was already unconstitutional for the state police and courts to enforce segregation. Arguably, that was true as early as 1950, when restrictive covenants were invalidated.

      3. Your Woolworths analogy is false. It’s more like MacDonalds wants a customer wants to be able sit at Woolworth’s lunch counter and require Woolworth allow them to order and eat BigMacs and Quarterpounders with Cheese there, but get no compensation for doing so.

        The customer can decide if he or she wants to eat at Woolworth’s or not, but if they do, they must order from the items on Woolworth’s menu and buy them from Woolworth’s.

      1. Apple does not limit the availability of apps on their store to “protect” the user. They do it to protect the quality of the operating experience. You can still use Safari to view hate speech, lies, mis-information, violence, porn, child porn, abuse,etc. Apple does not, should not, exceed their reach to protect us by censoring others.

          1. Parler was not banned for its political persuasion. It was banned because the app was used to help organize an assault on the United States Congress and the developers flatly refused to take steps to avoid it happening again.

            1. You keeping drinking that cool-aid… if it were real evidence it would not be in question. More fake news and still ignoring the facts that Twitter et al were used. This is just confirmation bias.
              But no surprise coming from the red-herring king himself…

            2. Prove it Apple APOLOGIST.

              Was Facebook and Twitter used on Apple devices and Apps from the App Store to organize protests in half a dozen cities for the better part of a year burning down buildings causing millions of dollars in damage if not billions, overturning and burning police cars and assaulting police officers by Antifa, BLM and leftist anarchists, hmmm?

              And I have not read one post where you had a problem with it and called for banning those Apps on Apple devices.

              But then again, HYPOCRISY is your middle name…

  4. Seems to me this type of law may be illegal because it regulates interstate commerce — the sole purview of the Federal Government. The state is trying to regulate sales that take place outside the state for companies that may well operate outside the state as well. There is a good chance, if such a law did pass, Apple could get it disallowed in federal court.

      1. Vlad, the article above that you apparently did not read names the Senate lead as Mark Koran, R-North Branch. My point is that this particular idiocy is bipartisan.

        Kelly, the Minnesota State Senate has been controlled by the Republicans since 2014. The current split is 34-31.

        It is better to stay silent and let people think you are ignorant than to speak and confirm it.

  5. We Minnesotans have decided to target John Dingler, a rich old 1% white guy with execrable art, in urgent need of redistribution to LA’s homeless people. We stand with them in wanting to donate all of John Dingler’s fraudulently obtained riches. This old white guy needs to go.

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