Tech companies including mighty Apple are turning their lobbying attention to statehouses across the country as a wave of local bills opens a new frontier in the push to limit Silicon Valley’s power.
Arizona, Maryland, and Virginia are among states where lawmakers are seeking to limit the power of tech companies… Google, Apple and others are hiring local lobbyists and immersing themselves in the minutiae of proposed legislation, according to state representatives. Tech companies face potential rules that would curb the reach of their platforms, crimp revenues with taxes or force them to facilitate additional privacy disclosures.
In Arizona, a closely watched bill regarding app-store payments has cleared the state House and is expected to be debated in the Senate in the next several weeks. The legislation would free some software developers from fees that Apple place on apps, which can run up to 30% of sales from paid apps and in-app purchases. App developers would be able to charge people directly through the payment system of their choice. The bill would apply to Arizona- based app developers and consumers yet could set a wider precedent.
MacDailyNews Take: This would be great since we really want to sell MacDailyNews.com T-shirts in Walmart, Target, etc. using their physical stores, heat, cooling, electricity, floor space, staff, parking lots, parking lot maintenance staff and contractors, online stores, server capacities, storage, more electricity, more staff, etc., etc., etc. while keeping 100% of our sales. That’s fair, right?
Technology companies have stepped up legislative spending at different levels of government recently. Facebook and Amazon outspent all other U.S. companies in federal lobbying last year, The Wall Street Journal reported in January. Facebook spent nearly $20 million, up about 18% from the previous year, while Amazon spent about $18 million last year, up about 11%. Apple disclosed $6.7 million in lobbying spending, down from a record $7.4 million in 2019, and Google also reported a drop, spending $7.5 million. Google and Facebook are facing multiple antitrust lawsuits, and Amazon and Apple have been the subject of preliminary inquiries…
MacDailyNews Take: Again, using exceedingly simple logic that even a five-year-old could understand, the Arizona App Store bill and others like it are ill-conceived and likely unconstitutional. It sounds like something a video game company lobbyist would scribble out, as they did in North Dakota, 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