Arizona’s Apple App Store-killer bill disappears

From The Verge’s “Arizona Senate skips vote on controversial bill that would regulate Apple and Google app stores” posted late Wednesday:

The Arizona State Senate was scheduled to vote on an unprecedented and controversial bill Wednesday that would have imposed far-reaching changes on how Apple and Google operate their respective mobile app stores, specifically by allowing alternative in-app payment systems. But the vote never happened, having been passed over on the schedule without explanation. The Verge watched every other bill on the schedule be debated and voted on over the senate’s live stream, but Arizona HB2005, listed first on the agenda, never came up.

One notable Apple critic is now accusing the iPhone maker of stepping in to stop the vote, saying the company hired a former chief of staff to Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey to broker a deal that prevented the bill from being heard in the Senate and ultimately voted on. This is after the legislation, an amendment to the existing HB2005 law, passed the Arizona House of Representatives earlier this month in a landmark 31-29 vote.

“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,” said Basecamp co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson, a fierce Apple critic who submitted testimony in support of HB2005, on Twitter this afternoon.

My take: Apple and Google came this fight fully armed. Florian Mueller will be furious.

See also: Apple hiring local guns for Arizona showdown

6 Comments

  1. Jerry Doyle said:
    “…. It could have also caused all sorts of additional headaches for both companies by forcing them to either institute a patchwork system of state-specific enforcement, or by potentially forcing them to stop doing business in Arizona altogether while opening the door to lawsuits against the state.”

    Jobs, jobs, and more jobs. States conducive to doing business are seeing more tax revenue growth and influx of newly arriving workers. States not conducive to doing business are seeing increased outflow of corporate HQs and workers, leaving state and city governments seeking new sources of revenues, usually in the form of increased taxes.

    2
    March 25, 2021
  2. Gregg Thurman said:
    Sanity returns to Arizona. The insane are “mad” (pun intended).

    2
    March 25, 2021
  3. Fred Stein said:
    “The U.S. Constitution, through the Commerce Clause, gives Congress exclusive power over trade activities between the states and with foreign countries. Trade within a state is regulated exclusively by the states themselves.”

    Given that, AZ would have to ensure that they opened up App store payments only for transactions in AZ. How would they enforce that limitation? How would protect consumers from scammers and ID thefts using these payment systems?

    3
    March 25, 2021
    • David Emery said:
      Thinking about Utah’s recent law that takes effect only if other states pass similar laws, could one argue this violates Article I, section 10 “No State shall, without the Consent of Congress, … enter into any Agreement or Compact with another State” ??

      2
      March 25, 2021
  4. Thomas Larkin said:
    It was a purely self serving bill drafted by and for Epic, et al. It was also very poorly thought out and was therefor properly derailed. Rather rich of them to now claim any questionable conduct on Apple’s part. Apple went to the same legislators to simply point out how poorly thought out and self serving this lobbyist drafted bill was. This is inextricably intertwined with interstate commerce. Seems to me Apple did just what it should have.

    3
    March 25, 2021

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