Illinois proposes bill to end Apple & Google app store monopoly
The legendary Epic Games vs. Apple battle has truly sparked a global movement towards halting Apple and Google's monopolistic practices in their app store policies. After multiple antitrust investigations from watchdogs around the world, the United States have been making the rounds in trying to make the mobile app market into a fairer place.
Illinois is the latest government to file a bill in a bid to stop the tech giants in their tracks, and bring more freedom to both users and developers subjected to giving up 30% of all in-app payments. Arizona had already tried to pass a similar bill previously, but it didn't end up being voted through.
If Illinois succeeds, this time, developers will be able to offer iPhone and Google Play Store users alternative payment methods, rather than being forced to process each and every purchase through Google or Apple's own systems, and pay the 30% commission fee.
The new bill, called the Freedom to Subscribe Directly Act, would make it illegal for the tech giants to compel "a software application developer that is domiciled in the State to use a particular in-application payment system as the exclusive mode of accepting payments from a user for software application downloads or digital purchases; (ii) require use of a particular in-application payment system for accepting payments from Illinois users to download a software application or purchase a digital or physical copy."
Interestingly, as WGEM mentions, certain large-scale corporations—such as McDonalds and Uber—have been already exempted from the both Apple's and Google's payment exclusivity policy, and are allowed to redirect users to third-party payment systems. All other apps selling services, subscriptions, or anything else are subjected to the 30%, however.
The newly proposed bill is receiving the full support of a private software company based on Illinois home turf called Basecamp. Basecamp has already been involved in the fight against Apple's App Store policy, as it had its company e-mail client HEY dropped from the App Store because Basecamp wouldn't agree to the 30% commission.
The Illinois bill follows in the footsteps of Florida, New York, North Dakota, and other States that have already tried and failed to allow developers to offer their own payment systems and bypass the high commission, which has been called "unconscionable" and "highway robbery" by U.S. Congressmen.
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