A bill that could force Apple and Google to allow third-party payment platforms for in-app purchases on the App Store has been introduced in Arizona and is expected to be passed in the state House of Representatives.
The legislation is an amendment to the Arizona House Bill 2005. More specifically, it “restricts the ability of certain digital application distribution platforms to require the use of a specific integrated payment system”.
In this way, it is similar to the bill introduced on February 10 in North Dakota, which ultimately failed. However, HB 2005 does not require tech companies to authorize outside app stores and only applies to integrated payment systems.
Amendment HB2005 prohibits companies with more than 1 million Arizona user downloads from requiring specific integrated payment systems as the sole means of accepting payments. It also prohibits companies from taking revenge on app makers that use a third-party payment system. Like the North Dakota law, HB 2005 also has a specific exclusion for game consoles or music players, using very similar language with the exception of North Dakota.
State Representatives Regina Cobb and Leo Biasiucci, the co-sponsors of the legislation, wrote in an editorial that the bill would end the “monopoly” that Apple and Google have over their respective mobile ecosystems.
“The legislation would allow web developers to accept payments for their apps bypassing Apple’s or Google’s app stores, bypassing the app tax and lowering the cost to consumers without compromising security or safety, ”the representatives wrote.
Currently, third-party payment systems are prohibited under guidelines from the Apple App Store. In 2020, Epic Games implemented a system to trick Apple into removing “Fortnite” from the App Store, sparking an ongoing legal row.
The failed North Dakota legislation was also handed over as a draft to state lawmakers by an Epic Games lobbyist. At the time, an Apple spokesperson said the bill could “destroy the iPhone as you know it” and have significant consequences for privacy, security, safety and performance.
At an Arizona House credit hearing on Monday, Apple officials touted how the App Store democratized software, referring to a time when developers had to pay more to create and distribute software. applications.
Apple’s 30% cut in in-app purchases has been criticized by app developers like Epic Games and groups like the Coalition for App Fairness, which is rallying behind what they claim to be unfair app market policies. At the end of 2020, Apple launched a new program reducing these fees to 15% for developers earning less than $ 1 million from the App Store.
The Arizona House committee passed the bill as amended. He is now ready to be presented to the entire Arizona House for a full vote.