Arizona bill that would change the App Store disappears during Senate vote

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What you need to know

  • HB2005, which was on the Arizona Senate's agenda today, was never debated.
  • Neither Apple nor lawmakers are commenting on why the bill didn't make its way to debate.

The Arizona State Senate was supposed to meet and vote Wednesday to decide the fate of a bill that would have caused immense changes to how Apple and Google's app stores operate, but it has seemed to vanish out of thin air.

As reported by The Verge, the outlet was watching the debate of other bills live but HB2005, which would have forced Apple and Google to allow developers to use their own payment systems, never popped up for debate despite it being first on the agenda.

The Arizona State Senate was scheduled to vote an unprecedented and controversial bill on Wednesday that would have imposed far-reaching changes on how Apple and Google operate their respective mobile app stores, specifically by allowing alternative in-app payment systems. But the vote never happened, having been passed over on the schedule without explanation. The Verge watched every other bill on the schedule be debated and voted on over the senate's live stream, but Arizona HB2005, listed first on the agenda, never came up.

Shortly after the session ended Brittany Gibson, a fellow at The Prospect, said that the bill had been held without explanation.

One notable Apple critic, David Heinemeier Hansson, has taken to Twitter to accuse Apple of backroom dealing in order to kill the bill. Heinemeier Hansson, who had submitted testimony in support of the bill, is also the founder of the popular coding language Ruby on Rails and the email service Hey email.

The bill, which would have required Apple and Google to allow payment systems outside of their own for apps in their respective App Stores, had passed the Arizona House of Representatives at the beginning of this month. But the bill now seems up in the air for the Senate with Apple and lawmakers not responding to requests for comment.

But the bill's fate is now in question, and it's not immediately clear what happened. The CAF has not responded to a request for comment on the fate of the bill, and neither did Rep. Cobb, the bill's sponsor. The Arizona governor's office and the office of the Arizona State Senate Majority Leader Rick Gray (R-21) also did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

This is a developing story and we will update it if lawmakers or Apple releases a statement.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.