Critics of Big Tech are crying foul after a law to regulate Apple’s App Store and allow software developers to bypass the company’s control was spiked in the Arizona Senate, disappearing from sight a day before it was scheduled for a vote.
The amendment to a larger Arizona technology regulation bill had passed the Arizona House of Representatives 31-29, with Apple employing a lobbyist closely linked to Arizona Governor Doug Ducey in an attempt to spike the legislation. The amendment would’ve forbidden Apple from penalizing app developers for creating in-house payment processing systems that bypass transactions done on iPhone and Mac apps. Apple had suspended Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite, for creating a single-party transaction system that allowed them to avoid paying 15% or 30% of their revenue to Apple.
The amendment that was scheduled for a vote in the Senate merely disappeared Thursday, even though it had been scheduled as the first order of business for the day. Big Tech critics are pointing to Kirk Adams, a former Chief of Staff to Governor Doug Ducey, as responsible for a backroom deal to shut down the tech regulation amendment. Adams was hired to lobby for Apple against the legislation.
The founder of software company Basecamp is pointing to the shady erasure of Apple regulation as blatant corruption.
“Doesn’t mean it’s guaranteed that it’s over in Arizona, but hot diggity damn. Seeing how the corru… I mean… lobbying works this close and this brazenly is something else,” said David Hansson. “But Apple can’t buy all the legislators in all the states. Refuse to believe that.”
Arizona Democrats largely opposed the commonsense regulation, taking the side of the Big Tech giant against smaller app development companies. Other states such as North Dakota are exploring similar regulations to protect app developers in their states from Apple’s predatory business practices, making it likely Apple’s business model will soon face considerable disruption.