The Arizona House of Representatives just passed landmark app store legislation in a 31-29 vote on Wednesday that could have far-reaching consequences for Apple and Google and their respective mobile operating systems.
The legislation, a sweeping amendment to Arizona’s existing HB2005, prevents app store operators from forcing a developer based in the state to use a preferred payment system, putting up a significant roadblock to Apple and Google’s ability to collect commissions on in-app purchases and app sales. It will now head to the state senate, where it must pass before its sent to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey.
Either Congress or the FTC or something Federal needs to start getting involved. There can’t be 50 different laws concerning the App Store in this country.
Also, this section stands out:
The bill specifically exempts game consoles “and other special-purpose devices that are connected to the internet,” and it also bars companies like Apple and Google from retaliating against developers who choose to use third-party payment systems.
This is a mess of a bill, and excepting game consoles opens the floodgates for all sorts of shenanigans. Apple is no longer selling a phone in Arizona, they’re now selling the Apple Game Console, which also has an app for texting and making calls and a camera! (The iPod touch was marketed as a game console pretty heavily a few years back.) Plus, how is buying Fornite on my phone different in any way from buying it on my Switch? Nintendo processes the payment on one device and takes 30%, Apple processes the payment on the other device and takes 30%. And both devices are mobile! What is a computer even?
The Verge also notes:
Notable opponents of the bill have been Arizona Democrats, who’ve argued that state legislatures shouldn’t get involved in ongoing legal matters between companies, in reference to ongoing antitrust lawsuits between Apple and Google and companies like Fornite maker Epic Games. There was also concern the bill would interfere with interstate commerce and raise unconstitutionality claims.
And other states are considering similar laws.