From Emily Birnbaum’s “How the Apple lobbying machine took on Georgia, and won” posted Friday by Politico:
When Apple wanted to kill off two bills in Georgia this year, it rushed lobbyists to the state legislature, threatened to abandon key economic projects and persuaded the state attorney general to push for an Apple-friendly amendment.
Two months later, the bill that had appeared to have the most momentum stalled in the Georgia House Judiciary Committee. The committee chair did not bring the legislation to a vote during this year’s legislative session, effectively killing it in the lower chamber.
Apple’s aggressive lobbying efforts in Georgia, the extent of which were previously unreported, highlight a pattern that has played out with little national attention across the country this year: State lawmakers introduce bills that would force Apple and its fellow tech giant Google to give up some control over their mobile phone app stores. Then Apple, in particular, exerts intense pressure on lawmakers with promises of economic investment or threats to pull its money, and the legislation stalls.
“Apple has been able to intimidate and use a lot of money” to kill legislation, said Rep. Regina Cobb, a Republican state lawmaker in Arizona who championed an app store bill that didn’t pass her state’s Senate. Cobb said she has been closely following Apple’s playbook in other states. “They do it in different ways in each state, but it all comes down to strong-arming the legislature.”
My take: Not a good look for the owner of the great walled garden, but sometimes the moat needs shoring up.