Arizona Senate declines to vote on App Store payments bill

Posted:
in General Discussion edited March 25
Arizona lawmakers on Wednesday did not vote on -- or discuss -- a hotly contested bill that sought to allow third-party payment systems on app stores run by Apple and Google, with one outspoken critic claiming Apple brokered a "backroom deal" to quash the legislation before it reached the floor.

App Store


The Arizona Senate was scheduled to debate and vote on an amendment to Arizona HB2005 today, but the action was passed over without explanation, reports The Verge.

Earlier this month, Arizona's House of Representatives passed HB2005, sending the bill to the state Senate for discussion and potential enactment. The legislation prohibits companies managing large app stores, like Apple's App Store, from forcing developers to use one type of in-app payment system. Directed at Apple and Google, which foist first-party methods on app purveyors, the bill also bans said app store custodians from retaliating against app makers who use third-party systems.

Apple and Google reportedly lobbied hard against the passage of HB2005, likely fearing a pro vote would set a precedent for other states considering similar laws. Both companies take a cut of payments revenue, with Apple garnishing a 30% fee of most purchases. A new program introduced in late 2020 reduces Apple's slice to 15% for developers making less than $1 million a year.

At least one critic has cried foul in light of today's outcome. David Heinemeier Hansson, creator of Ruby on Rails, founder of Basecamp, CTO of Hey, and unwavering Apple detractor, in a tweet following today's Senate session said Apple had the bill scotched in a secret deal. He cited no evidence to back up his claims beyond what appears to be rumors.

"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," Heinemeier Hansson's tweet reads.

The developer submitted testimony in support of HB2005. A high-profile Apple critic, Heinemeier Hansson previously brought attention to the App Store's alleged anticompetitive in-app payment regulations when the tech giant blocked an update for his app Hey in 2020. He also caused a stir in 2019 on allegations of Apple Card credit line discrimination and has since regularly chimed in on Apple's antitrust woes.

The fate of HB2005 remains unclear. Rep. Regina Cobb, one of the bill's co-sponsors, the Arizona governor's office and the office of the Arizona State Senate Majority Leader Rick Gray did not respond to requests for comment, the report said.

"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. But Apple can't buy all the legislators in all the states. Refuse to believe that," Heinemeier Hansson said in a separate tweet.

In all of his tweets on the matter, Hansson neglected to mention that the Coalition for App Fairness lobbied for and wrote the legislation in the first place.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 11
    Apple is now against free government? Great. Well I guess we know now why China loves them so much.
    williamlondon
  • Reply 2 of 11
    longfanglongfang Posts: 210member
    Apple is now against free government? Great. Well I guess we know now why China loves them so much.
    Free? Lobbying is expensive. It’s certainly not free. Besides isn’t this how capitalism works? Are you a commie? Do you not believe in providing services for payment?
    mike1jony0DnykjpRfC6fnBswatto_cobra
  • Reply 3 of 11
    GabyGaby Posts: 152member
    I have one word for him - Libel...

    jony0watto_cobra
  • Reply 4 of 11
    foadfoad Posts: 703member
    Just like how DHH claimed that Apple Card was discriminatory against women and it was found not to be? DHH, Epic and Spotify are trying to come across as fighting for the little guy, when in fact, they are self serving. Epic runs one of the largest games in the world and is partly owed by the largest game producer in the world (which also owns one of the largest mini-platforms in WeChat), has the largest console maker invested in it. Spotify is the largest music streaming service and rapidly becoming one of the largest podcasting platforms. And don’t get me going on about DHH. Constantly says inflammatory statements, without having actual proof.
    aderutterwilliamlondonthtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 5 of 11
    Apple is now against free government? Great. Well I guess we know now why China loves them so much.
    Give it a rest. Your constant anti-Apple rhetoric is tiresome. 
    mwhitewilliamlondonlkruppmike1ericthehalfbeeedge57jony0teejay2012foadroundaboutnow
  • Reply 6 of 11
    EsquireCatsEsquireCats Posts: 1,100member
    There are myriad reasons to skip over the bill, before jumping into conspiracy theories of back-room deals. The real scandal is how this bill even came to be in the first place, no one is asking for this legislation, and it's clearly a case of one set of lobbyists against another. Now why would they kill it. that's straight forward:

    • The bill is controversial and would lead to unintended consequences for businesses and residents of AZ. It passed the lower house by 1 vote, and has the hallmarks of being a ploy from Epic Games.
    • There is no genuine advantage to the bill, while it opens up AZ to businesses working around the legislation. (Not even before considering retaliatory actions.)
    • It can potentially undermine or prejudice ongoing probes into app store operations.
    • As a bill it's constructed to benefit one party at the expense of another without basis.
    • The "public support" for the bill is manufactured from a vague, leading question, and took place after the bill was already introduced.

    So yeah, I'm not surprised the upper house killed it. The local government gets to tick the box for whatever influence they received from Epic Games, while not having to deliver anything tangible. The point of lobbyists isn't to control the government.
    mike1ericthehalfbeeedge57radarthekatjony0foadrandominternetpersonroundaboutnowGabywatto_cobra
  • Reply 7 of 11
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,880member
    Losers always have explanations that absolve them from responsibility for the loss. It’s always something sinister, behind closed doors, other than their ill conceived agenda. The powers that be in Arizona know that if this bill had passed they could forget about any tech giant relocating there in the future. When you adopt anti-business legislation you can’t expect business to lay down and roll over.
    flydogradarthekatthtwatto_cobra
  • Reply 8 of 11
    FlytrapFlytrap Posts: 49member
    "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. But Apple can't buy all the legislators in all the states. Refuse to believe that," Heinemeier Hansson said in a separate tweet.
    As much as I am a huge Apple fan... sadly Hansson is correct. But it does not matter because Apple and Google don't have to buy all the legislators in all the states... they just need to buy one or two more legislators than Epic, Spotify, Match, et al can afford to buy.

    We should not kid ourselves here... there are no honourable players... everyone is playing dirty. Everyone is paying lobbyists loads of money behind the scenes to buy educate legislators to their point of view. The Arizona bill is too similar to the North Dakota bill that failed to gain senate approval there too. Both bills were authored by Epic lobbyist Lacee Bjork Anderson, and the money was paid through Coalition for App Fairness.

    By the time this has gone through all the states... a lot of legislators will have been tainted with Apple, Epic, Google, Spotify, and CAF money... and no state will pass any anti-app store monopoly bill because Apple and Google will always find the few wavering legislators who are undecided and will always be able to outbid, outspend, and outlobby Epic, Spotify and CAF to get them to see things their way.
    muthuk_vanalingamjony0
  • Reply 9 of 11
    flydogflydog Posts: 890member
    Apple is now against free government? Great. Well I guess we know now why China loves them so much.

    Missed the part of the article that states that Apple had anything to do with the vote not taking place, or even mentioning why the vote didn't take place.  In fact is clearly states that there is "no evidence to back up [the] claims beyond what appears to be rumors."

    There are no facts at all to support your absurd post, other than maybe the voices in your head.  

    Zero. 
    jony0roundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 10 of 11
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 8,880member
    flydog said:
    Apple is now against free government? Great. Well I guess we know now why China loves them so much.

    Missed the part of the article that states that Apple had anything to do with the vote not taking place, or even mentioning why the vote didn't take place.  In fact is clearly states that there is "no evidence to back up [the] claims beyond what appears to be rumors."

    There are no facts at all to support your absurd post, other than maybe the voices in your head.  

    Zero. 
    Since when has the lack of facts stopped guys like @OutdoorAppDeveloper from making stupid posts.
    jony0roundaboutnowwatto_cobra
  • Reply 11 of 11
    foadfoad Posts: 703member
    Flytrap said:
    "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. But Apple can't buy all the legislators in all the states. Refuse to believe that," Heinemeier Hansson said in a separate tweet.
    As much as I am a huge Apple fan... sadly Hansson is correct. But it does not matter because Apple and Google don't have to buy all the legislators in all the states... they just need to buy one or two more legislators than Epic, Spotify, Match, et al can afford to buy.

    We should not kid ourselves here... there are no honourable players... everyone is playing dirty. Everyone is paying lobbyists loads of money behind the scenes to buy educate legislators to their point of view. The Arizona bill is too similar to the North Dakota bill that failed to gain senate approval there too. Both bills were authored by Epic lobbyist Lacee Bjork Anderson, and the money was paid through Coalition for App Fairness.

    By the time this has gone through all the states... a lot of legislators will have been tainted with Apple, Epic, Google, Spotify, and CAF money... and no state will pass any anti-app store monopoly bill because Apple and Google will always find the few wavering legislators who are undecided and will always be able to outbid, outspend, and outlobby Epic, Spotify and CAF to get them to see things their way.
    I would clarify one thing - Epic isn’t alone. They have extremely large shareholder invested in them, one of which is Tencent. That’s not even talking about the $250,000,000 that Sony invested in them. This isn’t David vs Goliath. Tencent and Sony’s vested interest in Epic gets glossed over constantly, but is critical to acknowledge. 
    randominternetpersonroundaboutnowDnykjpRfC6fnBswatto_cobra
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