Arizona Bill Would Keep Apple, Google From Taking A 30% Cut From Developers

An amendment introduced in Arizona would keep developers from paying the 30% fee on Google Play and Apple’s App Store. The modification to Arizona bill HB2005 would require app platforms to allow developers to use other forms of payment in the state.

It would also prevent them from forcing payments from Arizona users to be processed through a single system or taking action against developers or users that use different payment systems. The amendment, which would only apply to platforms with more than one million downloads in the past year, does not include “special-purpose digital application distribution platforms,” which include games consoles.

According to The Verge, the amendment was passed by the state’s House of Representatives, with 31 votes in favor and 29 against. After narrowly passing the House Appropriations Committee with a 7-6 vote last week, the amendment must now be voted on by the State Senate before being sent to Arizona governor Doug Ducey.

Several states have proposed similar legislations, including Georgia, Hawaii, Minnesota and North Dakota, amid Epic Games’ continuing legal battle against Apple and Google. In North Dakota, the bill was defeated in the State Senate.

Epic filed antitrust lawsuits against Apple and Google after they removed Fortnite from their app stores when the company introduced direct payments, thereby evading the 30% commission on transactions that Apple and Google require in their developer agreements. Epic has also joined Spotify, Match and dozens of other companies to establish the Coalition For App Fairness, which is lobbying in several states against the 30% cut.

In a statement to The Verge, the coalition said, “Today, Arizona put a marker down and became the first state in the nation to advance a digital market that is free and fair. The Coalition for App Fairness is pleased to see the House passage of HB 2005, which will encourage business innovation in Arizona and protect consumer choice. While this is cause for celebration, it is only a first step toward achieving a truly level playing field for all.”

Several Arizona representatives on both sides of the aisle have argued that state legislatures should not be involved in legal disputes between companies like Epic, Apple and Google. Neither Apple nor Google have commented on the amendment yet.

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