Apple and Google hired a bevy of lobbyists in Arizona in early 2021 to kill legislation that would have slashed the profits the companies make through their app stores.
Rep. Regina Cobb was subjected to a flood of text messages and phone calls from those lobbyists in February when she authored an amendment that would have barred Apple and Google from forcing developers to route all in-app payments through their platforms — a policy that lets the tech giants keep 30% of all purchases.
“When I got to my phone on Monday it was amazing,” Cobb, a Kingman Republican, told the Arizona Mirror about her experience once her legislation was put on the agenda for the House Appropriations Committee, which she chairs. “It was nuts, I had several lobbyists call me and text me over the weekend.”
House Bill 2005 would have prohibited an application platform provider that exceeds downloads of over 1 million Arizona users from making their app store the exclusive place to get applications or use their payment system. It also would have prevented an application platform from retaliating against Arizona developers who chose to not use their platform, and would have given the attorney general authority to receive complaints about application platform providers.
Apple and Google have been waging a public war with major developers who have revolted against the app store policies. More than a year ago, Apple booted the immensely popular video…