Pixel Envy

Written by Nick Heer.

What Happened to Arizona’s App Store Bill?

Brittany Gibson, the American Prospect:

Big Tech lobbyists in Arizona caused just enough confusion over an app store reform bill to run out the clock on this year’s legislative session. The bill would have ended the practice of app developers being charged high fees for payment processing by Google and Apple, the two dominant cellphone operating systems.

After being hotly debated and passing along near-partisan lines in the state House, HB 2005 was then put on the agenda for the state Senate Commerce Committee but ultimately not given a hearing. Friday was the last day the bill could be heard by the committee.

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The hold also prevents Republican Gov. Doug Ducey from having to weigh in on the Big Tech debate occurring within the GOP. One of the first lobbyists hired by Apple to work against HB 2005 was Ducey’s former chief of staff Kirk Adams, who was also previously a Republican Speaker of the House. “His engagement is a very clear sign that the governor did not want this coming to his desk; he wanted this to go away,” the source said.

Similar bills are being considered in many U.S. states. This effort may have sputtered in North Dakota and fizzled out in Arizona, but there are some bigger states like New York and Illinois working through the same kind of bill.