Arizona Senate skips vote on bill to regulate Apple’s App Store

The Arizona State Senate was scheduled to vote on a bill Wednesday that would have imposed far-reaching changes on how Apple operates their App Store by allowing alternative in-app payment systems. Without explanation, the vote never happened. Had it become law, it would’ve also applied to Alphabet’s operation of its derivative Google Play Store geared towards fake iPhones and pretend iPads.

Nick Statt for The Verge:

The vote never happened, having been passed over on the schedule without explanation. The Verge watched every other bill on the schedule be debated and voted on over the senate’s live stream, but Arizona HB2005, listed first on the agenda, never came up… This is after the legislation, an amendment to the existing HB2005 law, passed the Arizona House of Representatives earlier this month in a landmark 31-29 vote.

If the Arizona bill passed the senate and was signed into law by [Arizona Gov. Doug] Ducey, it would have made the state a haven for app makers looking to sidestep the App Store and the Google Play Store’s payment systems, which are the mechanisms the companies use to take their cuts of all app sales and in-app purchases of digital goods.

In testimony in front of the Arizona House earlier this month, Apple’s chief compliance officer, Kyle Andeer, argued… “The commission has been described by some special interests as a ‘payment processing fee’—as if Apple is just swiping a credit card. That’s terribly misleading. Apple provides developers an enormous amount of value — both the store to distribute their apps around the world and the studio to create them. That is what the commission reflects,” Andeer said in written testimony.

“Yet this bill tells Apple that it cannot use its own check-out lane (and collect a commission) in the store we built,” he added. “This would allow billion-dollar developers to take all of the App Store’s value for free — even if they’re selling digital goods, even if they’re making millions or even billions of dollars doing it. The bill is a government mandate that Apple give away the App Store.”

[Bills] like HB2005 are largely the work of the Coalition for App Fairness (CAF). The CAF is an industry group formed last year consisting of Epic, Spotify, Tinder parent company Match Group, and dozens of other companies that have grown increasingly dissatisfied with the status quo of the mobile app economy and the app store owners’ ironclad developer agreements.

MacDailyNews Take:

If we hazard a guess as to what happened, we’d say that the bill collapsed under the weight of its own stupidity.

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 Arizona App Store bill is 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.
MacDailyNews, March 2, 2021

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


    The Coalition for App Fairness (CAF) is a union, but it’s a corporate union and so is, for example, the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) that destroyed the California citizens’ GMO labeling initiative.
    If you subscribe to the fairness of market forces, you should deplore all corporate unions but I know that most readers here are Rightwingers who venomously deplore unions so they should deplore all corporate unions too and not only anti-Apple corporate unions.
    So, to be on Apple’s side, Epic, Spotify, Tinder, the Match Group union, and dozens of other companies should instead go it alone just like the many lone wolf John Wayne characters in Western movies. Don’t only deplore worker unions.

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