Apple Lobbying Against Arizona Bill That Would Let Developers Use Third-Party Payment Options

Arizona is considering legislation that would prevent developers from being forced to use Apple's in-app purchase options, and as the bill heads to the Arizona Senate, Apple and Google are lobbying heavily against it.

app store blue banner
As outlined by Protocol, Apple has been working against the bill since last month. Apple lobbyist Rob Didiron began fighting the legislation before it had been formally introduced, with Apple also hiring additional lobbyists and sending lawyers to Arizona.

"We went through a very difficult weekend where Apple and Google hired probably almost every lobbyist in town," said Arizona State Representative Regina Cobb, who created HB2005.

HB2005, an amendment to an 2005 Arizona bill, is designed to let app developers use third-party payment options to avoid the 15 to 30 percent cut that Apple takes from app purchases and in-app payments.

Cobb developed the bill after being approached by lobbyist Ryan O'Daniel, who represents the Coalition for App Fairness. The Coalition for App Fairness was formed in September 2020 and its members include Epic Games, Spotify, Tile, Basecamp, Blix, and other developers that have had disagreements with Apple.

In a hearing last week, Apple's chief compliance officer Kyle Andeer called HB2005 a "government mandate that Apple give away the App Store."

"This would allow billion-dollar developers to take all of the app store's value for free, even if they're selling digital goods, even if they're making millions or billions of dollars doing it. The bill is a government mandate that Apple give away the app store."

Apple in November lowered its ‌App Store‌ cut for developers making under $1 million to 15 percent, so for the majority of developers, Apple now collects 15 percent instead of 30 percent. Andeer said that 83 percent of developers pay no fees at all, as they offer free apps.

Apple last month successfully fought back against a similar bill in North Dakota, which would have paved the way for third-party app store options. The bill, which was also backed by the Coalition for App Fairness, was shot down by the North Dakota Senate.

It is not clear if HB2005 will pass in Arizona, as it is facing opposition from Arizona Democrats who do not believe that state legislature should interfere with ongoing litigation, referencing the legal battle between Apple and ‌Epic Games‌. Cobb this week plans to meet with Apple executives to "negotiate the contours of the bill."

Top Rated Comments

jz0309 Avatar
8 months ago
again, an Epic lobbyists influences a politician to put a bill up ... and then complaining about Apple and Google getting their own lobbyists ... politicians are all the same, as my father said: put all politicians in a sack, use a bat and start hitting the sack, you will always hit the right one ...
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
falainber Avatar
8 months ago
In a hearing last week ('https://www.kawc.org/post/arizona-lawmakers-address-battle-between-app-developers-and-tech-giants'), Apple's chief compliance officer Kyle Andeer called HB2005 a "government mandate that Apple give away the App Store.

Nobody is forcing Apple to give away their App Store. That's a lie.
Score: 15 Votes (Like | Disagree)
farewelwilliams Avatar
8 months ago
If third party iOS apps are able to use a third party payment solution, guaranteed that $99/year + 15% aren't going to be the only Apple fees indie iOS developers need to worry about. Only the bigger devs benefit from this since paying for hosting/servers/google maps are peanuts to them.

Don't let people like Tim from Epic or DHH from Basecamp/Hey fool you, they absolutely aren't looking out for the smaller guys. They're only using that argument for themselves.

Arizona hasn't thought this through, sadly.
Score: 13 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
8 months ago
I agree with Apple on this matter. If developers want to be able to profit from Apple's App Store, then it is only right they abide by the rules instead of trying to bypass them.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ComRadMac Avatar
8 months ago
"We went through a very difficult weekend where Apple and Google hired probably almost every lobbyist in town,"
"Cobb developed the bill after being approached by lobbyist Ryan O'Daniel"

So: "A lobbyist bribed me to write this bill, but then some other lobbyists tried to bribe me to kill it, and that was quite difficult."
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Somian Avatar
8 months ago
Rightfully so.

Even without considering traditional in-app purchases, developers could just make an app that's $10 one-time payment "free" and then have a "in-app purchase" to unlock it.

This will give us terrible user experience because every app will require the user to manage their own logins and license keys, compared to the current state where everything is managed through the Apple account, similar to how it also works on XBOX, PlayStation, Nintendo…
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

appstore

North Dakota Senate Shoots Down App Store Bill Apple Said Would 'Destroy the iPhone'

Tuesday February 16, 2021 1:11 pm PST by
The North Dakota Senate today voted no on a new bill that would have paved the way for third-party app store options by preventing Apple from requiring developers to use its App Store and in-app purchase methods for apps. According to the North Dakota government website, the SB2333 bill failed 11 to 36, which is good news for Apple. Breaking: The North Dakota senate just voted down the ...
app store blue banner

Arizona Advances Bill That Will Let Developers Skirt Apple's In-App Purchase Rules

Wednesday March 3, 2021 11:44 am PST by
The Arizona House of Representatives today passed HB2005, a state bill that would provide developers with an alternative to Google and Apple's in-app purchase options by allowing developers to use their own payment solutions within apps. Last week, the Arizona House Committee advanced the bill, and now it has also been approved by the House of Representatives. It will next be heard by the...
timcookantitrust

Tim Cook 'Practicing for Hours' Ahead of Epic Games Testimony Expected This Week

Monday May 17, 2021 4:17 am PDT by
So far, Apple CEO Tim Cook has taken a backseat in defending Apple as it faces a significant legal battle with Epic Games regarding the App Store. While the CEO has commented on the platform in the past, for the first time this week, Tim Cook will take center stage in his company's battle with Epic Games. Apple in March submitted its list of executives that will testify during the trial...
fortnite samsung

Apple Says Epic Games 'Wants Us to Be Android, But We Don't Want to Be'

Monday May 3, 2021 5:43 pm PDT by
The highly-anticipated Epic Games vs. Apple trial kicked off today in a federal court in Oakland, California, with lawyers for both companies delivering opening remarks before District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers. Lawyers for Epic Games attempted to paint the App Store as anti-competitive and monopolistic, noting that developers are forced to use Apple's in-app purchase system, and thus pay ...
app store blue banner

App Store Ecosystem Responsible for Estimated $643 Billion in Billings and Sales in 2020, According to Apple-Commissioned Study

Wednesday June 2, 2021 10:00 am PDT by
The App Store ecosystem facilitated an estimated $643 billion in billings and sales in 2020, an increase of 24 percent year-over-year, according to an Apple-commissioned study done by Analysis Group economists. [PDF] The study, "A Global Perspective on the Apple App Store Ecosystem," comes as Apple awaits a decision in its ongoing trial with Epic Games, much of which focused on App Store...
fortnite apple featured

Epic Games vs. Apple Trial Begins With Opening Remarks Underway

Monday May 3, 2021 9:05 am PDT by
The first day of the bench trial between Fortnite creator Epic Games and Apple is officially underway, with the companies delivering opening remarks before District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers in a Northern California courtroom. The saga dates back to August 2020, when Apple removed Fortnite from the App Store after Epic Games introduced a direct payment option in the app for its in-game...
app store safe secure

Study Finds Up to 2% of Top 1,000 Paid Apps on App Store Were Scams

Monday June 7, 2021 6:33 am PDT by
Apple has used its app review process as a bulwark in recent legal assaults on its App Store policy, and put particular emphasis on the security benefits for iOS users when buying apps. However, an investigation has found that almost 2% of the top 1,000 highest grossing apps on a given day were some sort of scam. According to The Washington Post, which conducted the investigation, scam apps...
Apple vs Spotify feature2

Spotify Executive Justifies Antitrust Pressure on Apple and Calls for Other App Store Payment Providers

Tuesday June 1, 2021 9:05 am PDT by
Spotify executive Horacio Gutierrez has explained in a wide-reaching interview with The Verge why the company believes Apple is a "ruthless bully" and what it would like to see change. Last month, Gutierrez penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that chastised Apple and some of its business practices. Now, Spotify's head of global affairs and chief legal officer has expanded on the logic ...
fortnite apple featured

Apple's Phil Schiller Takes the Stand in Epic Games v. Apple Trial

Monday May 17, 2021 12:17 pm PDT by
Today marked the kickoff of the third week of the Epic Games v. Apple trial, and this week is notable because Epic has finished with its witnesses and we're now transitioning to Apple witnesses, including notable Apple executives. Apple Fellow and former marketing chief Phil Schiller, who is in charge of the App Store, took the stand today. Schiller will testify for up to nine hours, and...
fortnite apple logo 2

Epic CEO Tim Sweeney Admits App Store's 30% Cut Is Similar to Consoles, Would Have Accepted Special Deal With Apple

Tuesday May 4, 2021 1:54 pm PDT by
Apple's legal battle with Epic Games is continuing on, and during the second day of the trial, Epic Games' CEO Tim Sweeney continued his testimony against Apple. Sweeney was grilled by Apple's lawyers, and made several points seemingly favorable to Apple. In addition to mentioning how he prefers Apple's iPhone and values Apple's privacy policies that he's aiming to dismantle, Sweeney...