Earlier this month, Apple and Google lobbyists were reportedly busy with mauling down Arizona bill against App Store and Google Play. The drafted bill accused the tech giants of creating a monopoly via their digital marketplaces and sought an alternative payment-method on the platforms to allow developers to bypass the app stores’ commission rate and introduce direct payment for in-app purchases. Fortunately for Apple and Google, the bill was not put up for voting in Arizona Senate and no explanation was given for skipping it, as well.
The Cupertino tech giant hired Kirk Adams, the former chief of staff to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey and speaker of the Arizona House of Representatives, along with the tech company’s own lobbyist Rod Diridon, to negotiate with Arizona State Rep. Regina Cobb, who is a co-sponsor of the HB2005 (The bill against Apple and Google). Company lawyers argued that the bill was unconstitutional.
Arizona Senate did not put a bill against Apple App Store for voting
Keeping an eye on the live Senate’s proceedings, The Verge reported that the Arizona HB2005 bill which was first on the agenda was never put for debate and vote. A staunch critic of Apple and Basecamp co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson wrote on Twitter,
“The big show turned out to be a no show. The bill was killed in mid-air while on the agenda with a backroom deal. Apple has hired the governor’s former chief of staff, and word is that he brokered a deal to prevent this from even being heard.
Apparently, Apple’s lawyers convinced the members of the Arizona Senate against the bill which would have changed the company’s entire payment structure if it had gotten majority votes in favor. The publisher writes,
If the Arizona bill passed the senate and was signed into law by 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.
It could have also caused all sorts of additional headaches for both companies by forcing them to either institute a patchwork system of state-specific enforcement, or by potentially forcing them to stop doing business in Arizona altogether while opening the door to lawsuits against the state.
Previously, North Dakota State Senate voted against an anti-App Store bill demanding freedom for developers to distribute their apps without paying commission rate for in-app purchases. However, Minnesota Senate adopted a similar bill scheduled for voting in the coming weeks.