New Minnesota Bill takes aim at Apple’s App Store fees

It’s the third piece of such legislation aimed at Apple in recent weeks.

What you need to know

  • A new bill has been introduced in Minnesota targeting Apple.
  • It could force Apple to let developers sell iPhone apps through channels other than the App Store.

A new proposal in the State of Minnesota could force Apple to let developers sell iPhone apps through channels other than the App Store.

As reported by StarTribune:

The battle over Big Tech has made its way to Minnesota, where unlikely alliances are forming in the divided Legislature over a bill that’s sparked intense opposition from Apple and Google.

The proposal — quietly introduced last week — would force the two tech giants to keep the products of Minnesota developers in their app stores even if those developers sell them directly or through other channels.

The law is supposed to level the playing field for developers, whilst depriving Apple and Google of the commission fees they charge developers for using their app stores. Similar legislation has previously been introduced in North Dakota and Arizona, as well as Georgia. Bill sponsor Zack Stephenson said, “A lot of people are concerned about the increased influence and power that Big Tech has, and I think there’s a lot of interest in trying to make sure that we have a fair and open digital economy.”

According to the report, Stephen and other House Democrats consider the move an extension of antitrust measures and the net neutrality debate. From the report:

Stephenson and other House Democrats see this as an extension of the antitrust and net neutrality debate, while the lead in the GOP-controlled Senate said he wants to send a message to Silicon Valley after Donald Trump’s ban and removal from Twitter and other social media platforms.

“That to me is a huge problem,” said Sen. Mark Koran, R-North Branch. “They basically deleted a president. Those who are taking that victory lap, that is going to be a short lived celebration, because that cancel culture is coming for them too.”

The report says that big tech companies were lobbying “within hours of the bill being introduced” to try and stop the move.

Apple recently stated that a similar bill in North Dakota would destroy the iPhone as we know it.

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