North Dakota Lawmakers Vote Down Bill That Would Regulate Apple and Google App Stores

ANAHEIM, CA - MARCH 24: CEO of Apple Tim Cook is seen at halftime at the 2016 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament West Regional at the Honda Center on March 24, 2016 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
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The North Dakota state senate recently voted 36-11 against a bill that would have required tech giants Apple and Google to enable software developers to use their own payment processing software and avoid fees charged by their app stores.

CNBC reports that the North Dakota state senate voted 36-11 on Tuesday not to pass a bill that would force tech giants like Apple and Google to allow software developers to use their own payment processing software, allowing them to avoid fees charged by the major tech firms.

The vote is a victory for Apple which has long claimed that the App Store is a core part of its product and that tight control over the App Store is required to keep iPhone users safe from malware and scams.

Breitbart News recently reported on the scam apps plaguing Apple’s App Store, some of which have generated upwards of $5 million in revenue from unsuspecting iOS users. Apple receives a 30 percent cut of all payments made through the App Store.

The proposed North Dakota bill is the first major U.S. state-level legislation to address the Apple and Google app stores. The bill targeted Apple’s fees by requiring companies that make more than $10 million per year in the state through app stores to offer alternative payment processors for purchases through the app store, allowing developers to avoid Apple and Google’s payment processing fee of around 30 percent.

Apple opposed the bill with Erik Neuenschwander, an Apple official who focuses on privacy engineering, stating that the bill “threatens to destroy iPhone as you know it.”

Neuenschwander stated: “Simply put, we work hard to keep bad apps out of the App Store; Senate Bill 2333 could require us to let them in. For a store owner, that would be like the government forcing you to stock your shelves with products you know lack in quality, authenticity, or even safety.”

State senator Kyle Davison, who introduced the bill and supported it, said:

North Dakota has a chance to be a leader, we have a chance to send it across the hall for further discussion.

It’s an economic development bill, because if this bill gets across the hallway, there isn’t enough hangar space to fly the private jets in from California.

Tuesday’s senate discussion focused heavily on Apple, which the senators avoided naming due to decorum rules, instead referring to it as a “technology company” or, as North Dakota state senator Randy Burckhard referred to the firm, “the same fruit Adam and Eve were not asked to eat.”

Jerry Klein, a state senator who opposed the bill, said: “North Dakota is not the place to settle a dispute between companies on what the commission rates or payment systems should be.”

Read more at CNBC here.

Lucas Nolan is a reporter for Breitbart News covering issues of free speech and online censorship. Follow him on Twitter @LucasNolan or contact via secure email at the address lucasnolan@protonmail.com

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