The North Dakota state Senate is jumping into a simmering feud between Apple and iOS software developers with a bill that would make it illegal for device makers to require to use their app stores and payment systems.
The bill (PDF) has two main prongs. First, it would make it unlawful for companies such as Google and Apple to make their app stores the “exclusive means” of distributing apps on their platforms. Second, it would prohibit those providers from requiring third parties to use their digital transaction or in-app payment systems in their applications.
This bill comes from Republican state Sen. Kyle Davison. First, aren’t Republicans supposed to be about less regulation and protecting large companies from the little guy? This seems out of character for a Republican. Second, if this had passed, it would have essentially banned the iPhone (and Android phones) from being sold to North Dakota residents and businesses. Think about it — would Apple have spent the time and money opening up the iPhone to competing app stores just for the 762,062 people who live in the state? Here’s a sobering fact: Apple sells more iPhones each day than there are North Dakota residents.