Minnesota and Arizona Bills Aim to Let Developers Skirt Apple's In-App Purchase Rules

After North Dakota tried and failed to pass legislation that would have paved the way for third-party App Store options, Minnesota and Arizona have introduced new bills that would loosen Apple's control over ‌App Store‌ developers.

app store blue banner
A Minnesota bill shared by Star Tribune would force Apple and Google to keep products from Minnesotan developers on their app stores even if those developers sell them directly or through other channels, skirting current in-app purchase rules.

Supporters of the bill believe the bill would allow developers in Minnesota to avoid the commissions collected by Apple and Google.

"A lot of people are concerned about the increased influence and power that Big Tech has, and I think there's a lot of interest in trying to make sure that we have a fair and open digital economy," said Rep. Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids, who is sponsoring the bill in the House.

Lobbyists for Apple and Google have allegedly already started aiming to stop the proposal. "They are loading up," said Minnesota Representative Zack Stephenson. "I understand that they have been reaching out to some of my colleagues. I heard whispers of that occurring throughout the Capitol. I think we got someone's attention."

Apple does not allow developers to use their own in-app payment systems, instead requiring all apps that sell digital goods and subscriptions to do so through Apple's in-app purchase system. Apple collects a 15 to 30 percent fee from all in-app purchases.

Under the terms of the Minnesota bill, Apple and Google would not be allowed to retaliate against a developer for using an alternative system to charge customers, which is something that Epic Games tried to do last year. Epic attempted to use a direct payment option, violating Apple's ‌App Store‌ rules and resulting in the Fortnite app being removed from the App Store.

A similar bill in Arizona would also prevent developers from being forced to use Apple and Google's in-app purchase options. As highlighted by The Information earlier this week, the bill was advanced by the Arizona House committee and will now go to a broader vote.

North Dakota's failed bill would have allowed for third-party App Stores, also giving developers an alternative to Apple and Google's in-app purchase systems and fees, but it did not pass.

Apple Chief Privacy Engineer Erik Neuenschwander advocated against the North Dakota bill, telling the senate that it "threatens to destroy the iPhone as you know it" by requiring changes that would "undermine the privacy, security, safety, and performance" of the ‌‌‌iPhone‌‌‌.

U.S. antitrust regulators last year held an investigation into Apple's ‌App Store‌ fees and policies. The inquiry ultimately resulted in a 450 page report from the U.S. House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee recommending new antitrust laws to address Apple's monopoly over software distribution on iOS devices. That report has not yet led to any new laws.

Top Rated Comments

Cwoods Avatar
7 weeks ago
This is ridiculous. If you decide to be an app developer you know Apple/Google get a cut of the in-app purchases. It’s their platform, they’re allowed. If you don’t like it, don’t have in-app purchases. Pretty simple.
Score: 45 Votes (Like | Disagree)
itsmeaustend Avatar
7 weeks ago
Do they plan to pay for the server resources to host the games? Fortnite was free on the App Store, IAPs was the only way Apple was profiting from it. You don't sell your product in a physical store and expect to do so for free, no, the store gets a cut too. It's just how life works (and how it should remain).
Score: 43 Votes (Like | Disagree)
MauiPa Avatar
7 weeks ago
Will this also mean we can buy stuff on Amazon without paying Amazon? Yay!
Score: 35 Votes (Like | Disagree)
natnorth Avatar
7 weeks ago

Will this also mean we can buy stuff on Amazon without paying Amazon? Yay!
I sell on Amazon and over the last 5 years I've watched their fees go from 42% of my sales to 50%... I would GLADLY pay Amazon 30% to sell!!!!
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Killbill2 Avatar
7 weeks ago
Follow the money of the promoters of these bills... who are lobbyists for which corporations that are doing this?
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
natnorth Avatar
7 weeks ago

No but did you pay Microsoft or Apple when you used your Mac or PC to shop on amazon? No? Why not?

Because it is an operating system. Just like iOS and iPadOS.
Why would we pay? We don't pay Amazon for the privilege to buy from their store, we just buy! Sellers on Amazon pay Amazon not only to be able to sell on their platform but also a commission on each sale. it's the same with Apple, Steam, Google, etc... you want to sell in the store then you pay for that.

You are free to use your iPhone/iOS/Android/whatever without using the store if you don't want to... no charge!
Score: 19 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

samsung experience 1

Samsung's 'iTest' Lets You Try a Galaxy Device on Your iPhone

Thursday April 8, 2021 12:42 pm PDT by
Samsung has launched "iTest," an interactive website experience that's designed to allow iPhone users to test out Android on a Galaxy device, or "sample the other side," as Samsung puts it. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube channel for more videos. The iTest website is being advertised in New Zealand, according to a MacRumors reader who came across the feature. Visiting the iTest website on...
pixel watch prosser leak

Google Pixel Watch Allegedly Leaks with Circular Design, Rumored to Launch in October

Monday April 12, 2021 2:49 am PDT by
Renders of Google's first smartwatch, codenamed "Rohan," have been shared by Jon Prosser, showing that Google plans to adopt a circular design for its flagship wearable watch. Prosser shared the renders in an episode of his YouTube show "Front Page Tech," in which he claims they were made based on marketing material he had seen from a source within Google. The renders show that the Pixel...
AppleTV and HomePod Feature

Bloomberg: Apple Working on New Apple TV With Integrated HomePod Speaker and FaceTime Camera

Monday April 12, 2021 3:32 am PDT by
Apple is working on a combined Apple TV with HomePod speaker that has a camera for video calls through a connected television set, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. From the report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions,...
nba tracking prompt orange

Two-Thirds of iPhone Users Expected to Block Ad Tracking

Friday April 9, 2021 7:19 am PDT by
As many as 68 percent of iPhone users are expected to deny advertisers permission to track them thanks to Apple's App Tracking Transparency feature, in what is beginning to look like a significant blow to the advertising industry (via AdWeek). With the launch of iOS 14.5, apps will have to receive explicit user permission before accessing an iPhone's advertising identifier or IDFA, which is...
fake airpods 3

Counterfeit 'AirPods 3' Hit the Market Prior to Official Announcement

Friday April 9, 2021 2:45 am PDT by
Apple is expected to launch the third iteration of AirPods in the third quarter of this year. Rumors and reports suggest the new AirPods will feature an updated design more in line with the AirPods Pro, but lacking in "Pro" features such as active noise cancellation. Despite AirPods 3 not yet being officially announced by Apple, counterfeit products of the unreleased earbuds have already hit ...
Top Stories 56 Feature

Top Stories: 'Find My' Expansion, iPhone 13 Pro Mockup, Largest-Ever iMac?

Saturday April 10, 2021 6:00 am PDT by
Apple's AirTags may still be nowhere to be seen nearly two years after signs of them were first discovered, but Apple this week launched its Find My network accessory program that will let third-party devices integrate with the Find My app on Apple's platforms to make it easy to keep track of your items. This week also saw fresh rumors about the upcoming "iPhone 13" and new iMacs, while...
ehric

iPhone 12 Mini Missing From Top 5 Best Selling Smartphone List of January 2021

Friday April 9, 2021 4:58 am PDT by
According to market data compiled by Counterpoint Research, Apple's smallest iPhone since the 2016 iPhone SE, the iPhone 12 mini, struggled to obtain a spot in the top five list of best-selling smartphones in January of this year. According to the market data, the iPhone 12 mini came in eighth place for the best-selling smartphone worldwide in the first month of the year. However, the iPhone ...
sonny 2021 ipad mini pro dummies

Leaked Dummy Units Show iPad Mini 6 With Thick Bezels and Home Button, New iPad Pro Models

Thursday April 8, 2021 2:11 am PDT by
Rumors suggest Apple will release refreshed versions of the iPad mini and iPad Pro models in the first half of this year, potentially as soon as this month, and a new leak today has provided us with a possible preview of what to expect in terms of the devices' overall design and camera prospects. Tech leaker and Apple blogger Sonny Dickson this morning shared images on Twitter showing dummy ...
Google maps feaure green

Google Maps App for iOS Finally Updated After Four Months

Monday April 12, 2021 10:03 am PDT by
Following the completed rollout of App Privacy labels for its App Store apps, Google today updated the Google Maps app for the first time in four months. Apple in December began requiring all new app submissions and app updates to include App Privacy labels, detailing the data that is collected by the app so consumers know what they're sharing. Google didn't begin implementing App Privacy ...
epic iap feature 3

Tim Cook Says App Store Would Become a 'Flea Market' if Third-Party Payment Systems Were Allowed

Monday April 12, 2021 9:41 am PDT by
In a recent interview with the Toronto Star, Apple CEO Tim Cook spoke about a wide variety of topics, ranging from App Tracking Transparency to Apple's ongoing legal battle over App Store policies with Fortnite creator Epic Games. Notably, Cook said that Epic Games' desire for Apple to let developers offer their own payment systems in apps "would make the App Store a flea market":At the...