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Apple is discovered fighting Arizona antitrust bill


Recently, Apple thanked its lucky stars when North Dakota voted down a proposed bill which would have forced the company to allow 3rd-party payment processes for apps in the App Store. The bill’s objective is to let companies bypass Apple’s 15%-30% commission fee (like Epic Games did back in August, unsanctioned) on all applications and transactions on the platform. Apple has always stringently filtered the apps allowed in its store, on top of the commission which developers are calling “highway robbery.” The approval of this bill would give small businesses a much greater chance of survival, especially during the pandemic. However, the victory in North Dakota was only one small battle, and Apple’s fight is far from over. 

Not long after that, Minnesota introduced a similar bill, which Apple is currently lobbying against as well. And now, Apple has extended its efforts to Arizona—which hadn’t even introduced the proposed legislation officially yet before Apple came at them, torches and pitchforks waving. Apple and Google know well that if these bills are passed, they will lose billions of dollars which their duopoly have guaranteed them up until this point. According to them, these bills are “unconstitutional,” and Regina Cobb (the Arizona State Representative who introduced the bill) claims she is facing a nonstop onslaught from Apple and Google’s plethora of hired lobbyists over the past two weeks, as well as free market groups and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce. 
Apple might be putting everything into fighting these small battles now, bill by proposed bill, state by state, but the deciding battle comes in May when the case between Epic Games and Apple goes to trial. If Minnesota and Arizona end up passing the bill, there’s a chance this (and consequent reactions) may affect the court’s decision, but it is not certain for now. Although much of the world is rooting for a future with a freer market, the North Dakota Senate voted off their proposed bill at a one-sided 36-11 ratio—so nothing is certain, and Apple certainly won’t stop fighting tooth and nail to keep its multi-billion-dollar app revenue from declining.

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