Apple's lobbying against Georgia app store bill included threats to pull investments

in General Discussion
Apple used a variety of lobbying tactics to kill off a pair of bills introduced by state lawmakers in Georgia, including legislation that would force the company to allow third-party app stores.

Credit: WikiMedia Commons
Credit: WikiMedia Commons

The Cupertino tech giant has aggressively lobbied many state governments to stall legislation affecting the App Store, including in Arizona and North Dakota.

In Georgia, a bill that would have forced Apple to give up some control over its App Store stalled in the state's House Judiciary Committee. That was after Apple threatened to abandon key economic projects and lobbied the state attorney general to push for an amendment that would be friendlier to Apple, according to Politico.

Although bills like the ones introduced in Georgia, North Dakota, and Arizona also affect Google, Apple has been much more aggressive in its lobbying efforts. The bills in North Dakota and Arizona ultimately failed.

Some of the bills introduced in state legislatures were given to lawmakers in draft form by a lobbyist working for Epic Games, which has been locked in a legal battle with Apple over its App Store policies. Beyond its fight in the courts, Epic Games and its developer allies have taken to state governments because they tend to move quicker and are more flexible than the federal legislature.

Although Epic Games has heavyweight allies like Spotify, Match, and the Coalition for App Fairness, even the most powerful of that group can't match the resources of Apple. For example, Apple can threaten jobs or offer massive investments like no other company can.

Apple's lobbying tactics in Georgia included a threat to pull out from a $25 million investment in a historically Black college and a potentially multibillion-dollar partnership with Kia to build autonomous vehicles in the state. However, Politico reported that Apple denied making those threats. Sources familiar with the discussions say they came from a third-party lobbyist.

In Louisiana, where similar legislation was introduced earlier in 2021, Apple lobbyists reportedly offered to invest significant resources in the state's education system. The lawmaker who first introduced one of the app store bills ultimately stood down in May.

Similar legislation is being considered in Minnesota, New York, Illinois, and Hawaii. The U.S. House and Senate have also introduced bills targeting the Apple and Google app stores. The U.S. House is also considering a sweeping antitrust package that could rein in the power of Apple and other Silicon Valley giants.

While the fate of those federal efforts remains up for debate, Apple appears ready to continue its push against state-level bills.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 7
    The Coalition for App Fairness IS Epic Games. What a shame it is that they make the amazing Unreal Engine because they're such a PILE! 
  • Reply 2 of 7
    amar99amar99 Posts: 181member
    Used to be against Epic, the push for 3rd party apps, etc. But given the recent steps taken by Apple I'm all for the opposition. Apple has shown their true colors, and they ain't pretty.
    edited August 2021 williamlondonlam92103xyzzy-xxx
  • Reply 3 of 7
    tjwolftjwolf Posts: 424member
    amar99 said:
    Used to be against Epic, the push for 3rd party apps, etc. But given the recent steps taken by Apple I'm all for the opposition. Apple has shown their true colors, and they ain't pretty.
    You're not logical.  You're fine with EPIC lobbying states to create laws in their favor, but you think Apple fighting this effort with its own lobbying is "showing their true colors, and they ain't pretty"???

    This issue isn't (or shouldn't be) resolved at the state level.  Whatever people think Apple is doing wrong with its App Store policies it is doing at the national, even international level.

    My personal opinion is that as long as Apple is applying the same rules to the apps it sells on the iOS App Store as it applies to third party apps, it can create whatever rules it wants - the App Store is its property!  People crying monopoly abuse are just making noise.  Apple can't have a monopoly, since there is no "market of App Stores" in which it is the dominant/monopolist participant!!  Apple created the App Store to let developers sell their wares to its iPhone and iPad customers - provided they followed its rules.  It told potential iPhone and iPad users that if they buy one of their devices, they don't have to worry about security as much as when they buy other devices, because Apple protects them by only allowing apps on their devices that have been vetted by Apple.  All was good in the world - customers got what they want (a more secure device) and developers got what they want (another channel through which to make money).

    But as time went by, some developers - primarily the more successful ones - no longer liked those rules.  They wanted to keep more of their money.   Leaving the iOS platform in protest wasn't an option - they were making too much money from iPhone customers - so what to do?  The answer, of course, was to turn to politicians for a little "help".  Telling those politicians about "monopoly abuse" and "customer harm" (from not being able to choose where they get their apps from), and greasing the wheels with promises of future campaign contributions, their pleas found fertile ground.

    The only customers that will be harmed if Apple is forced to allow other app stores are Apple's EXISTING CUSTOMERS!  Most bought an iPhone at least partially because of the additional security a single App Store affords.  They would be made less secure if, suddenly, there were multiple stores.  Supporters of more App Stores would argue that those customers would still be just as safe because they could ignore the new stores.  But is this really true? No, it isn't!  If I get an email with a link to an app or an existing app I already have has a link to another app, I now have to be more vigilant that it's not leading to a non-Apple app store.  I now have to worry that everyone in my household that is on my Apple ID is just as vigilant - since a malevolent app on one iPhone can have disastrous effects on all the connected services & devices.  Even outside my family, I now have to worry that my data on iCloud isn't quite as secure as it once was, since there are now more malevolent apps able to run inside the Apple ecosystem, potentially taking advantage of weaknesses in Apple's security, since that security up to now assumed a relatively clean set of devices inside the castle.
  • Reply 4 of 7
    lam92103lam92103 Posts: 113member
    Not a good look for Apple. Onwards with the legislation.
  • Reply 5 of 7
    So we have rumors from an “anonymous” source about Apple vs hard facts about Epic and somehow this writer for Politico is slagging Apple?

    Biased much?
  • Reply 6 of 7
    robabarobaba Posts: 228member
    So we have rumors from an “anonymous” source about Apple vs hard facts about Epic and somehow this writer for Politico is slagging Apple?

    Biased much?
    First time reading Politico?  I mean it’s right there in it’s name.
  • Reply 7 of 7
    danoxdanox Posts: 2,671member
    Epic did start the fight……..
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