North Dakota Bill Looking To Change App Store Makeup Fails To Acquire Enough Votes

A bill ushered in by the state of North Dakota, looking to drastically change the makeup of app stores like Google Play and The App Store, ultimately failed to get enough votes. But what it succeeded to do is open up discourse regarding the role of monopolies in a free market.

First, however, we should address the bill itself. Particularly, what it aimed to do. Labelled SB 2333, the bill wished to apply restrictions on app store developers earning anywhere over USD $10 million per annum, preventing them from setting up rules that force software developers to stick to one platform for their source of downloads. These rules also enforce the app store's own method of payment on devs, taking almost 30% of their yearly revenue in the process. Looking to actively promote the concept of a free market, the bill was put to the North Dakota House of Representatives.

The bill and its proposed amendments drew both praise as well as ire from third parties. Naturally, the likes of Apple and Google were unpleased with any such changes being implemented. Apple's chief privacy engineer, Erik Neuenschwander, testified against SB 2333, stating that it would spell the end of "the iPhone as you know it". He went on to further claim that Apple's payment policies allow the company to curate safe and user friendly apps onto the Store, and such a bill would undermine and perhaps even render useless such precautions.

On the other side of the fence, there are other similar motions attempting to be enacted across the USA, particularly Arizona and Georgia. Those are owed to the attempts of the Coalition of App Fairness, a group formed in the face of developer misuse by larger corporations. Hosting some noteworthy names on its marquee, such as Epic Games of Fortnite fame, Match Group of Tinder fame, and Spotify. The CAF has been hosting a flag of injustice against the common practice of siphoning 30% of all software dev revenue, stating that multibillionaire companies only reach such status by profiting off of the general masses that very much need the 30% for daily life.

As the debate heartedly continues, it seems that North Dakota was ultimately not a front to fight on. The SB 2333 bill failed to pass the House, in a notable loss of 11-36 votes, clearly showing that the state was actively willing to support larger corporations in such exploits. Ultimately, this shouldn't have been particularly surprising. America is considered the land of capitalism; a concept, if left unchecked, actively helps sustain larger business models and monopolies in their attempts to severely profit from underprivileged groups. Events such as the Red Scare have also had the country tightly grip onto capitalistic sentiment, a thought process that might take decades to pry itself loose from the general populace.



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