Policy

Arizona House passes app store bill

App Store icon

The Arizona House passed a bill that would give apps a way to avoid Apple and Google's fees.

Image: Apple

The Arizona House of Representatives passed legislation to reform the app store ecosystem on Wednesday, potentially giving apps a way to avoid the fees Apple and Google currently charge.


The bill would allow app developers to use third-party payment systems to circumvent the 15% to 30% cut that Apple and Google take from app sales. It's been the subject of an aggressive lobbying push in Arizona from Apple and Google in recent weeks, and Democrats emerged as the major opponents of the bill. During a floor debate on Wednesday, a group of Arizona Democratic representatives argued that the legislation would force Apple to change its business model and raised questions around whether Arizona should weigh in on the national debate.

The politics around the Arizona bill are the reverse of national politics around antitrust, with Arizona Democrats standing behind a tech giant while Arizona Republicans move forward with the legislation. The bill, HB2005, is being pushed across the country by the Coalition for App Fairness, which represents small-to medium-sized developers including Epic Games, Spotify and Tile.

The bill will go to the Republican-majority Arizona Senate next. Similar legislation is up for debate in Minnesota, Hawaii, Massachusetts and several other states.

Enterprise

Why it’s time to ban algorithmic recommendations for children

How do we encourage the good that ML and AI can provide while restraining potential harms?

Algorithms often harm the very users they are supposed to serve.

Photo: Alfonso Di Vincenzo/KONTROLAB/LightRocket via Getty Images

Tom Siegel is the CEO and co-founder of Trust Lab.

In the era of social media, AI algorithms have the power to decide everything from our playlists to the videos we watch, the news we consume and what special shopping deals we’re offered, and which are withheld. For all the good machine-learning technologies and algorithms do to improve and personalize the online experience for all of us, they also present one of the biggest threats for online safety, with real-world negative implications for the health and well-being of all internet users.

Keep Reading Show less
Tom Siegel
Tom Siegel is the CEO and Co-Founder of Trust Lab. Previously the VP of Trust & Safety at Google for 14 years, Tom built its global team through all stages of growth into an industry-leading user protection and abuse fighting organization with thousands of team members globally.

Sustainability. It can be a charged word in the context of blockchain and crypto – whether from outsiders with a limited view of the technology or from insiders using it for competitive advantage. But as a CEO in the industry, I don’t think either of those approaches helps us move forward. We should all be able to agree that using less energy to get a task done is a good thing and that there is room for improvement in the amount of energy that is consumed to power different blockchain technologies.

So, what if we put the enormous industry talent and minds that have created and developed blockchain to the task of building in a more energy-efficient manner? Can we not just solve the issues but also set the standard for other industries to develop technology in a future-proof way?

Keep Reading Show less
Denelle Dixon, CEO of SDF

Denelle Dixon is CEO and Executive Director of the Stellar Development Foundation, a non-profit using blockchain to unlock economic potential by making money more fluid, markets more open, and people more empowered. Previously, Dixon served as COO of Mozilla. Leading the business, revenue and policy teams, she fought for Net Neutrality and consumer privacy protections and was responsible for commercial partnerships. Denelle also served as general counsel and legal advisor in private equity and technology.

Policy

Google is wooing a coalition of civil rights allies. It’s working.

The tech giant is adept at winning friends even when it’s not trying to immediately influence people.

A map display of Washington lines the floor next to the elevators at the Google office in Washington, D.C.

Photo: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images

As Google has faced intensifying pressure from policymakers in recent years, it’s founded trade associations, hired a roster of former top government officials and sometimes spent more than $20 million annually on federal lobbying.

But the company has also become famous in Washington for nurturing less clearly mercenary ties. It has long funded the work of laissez-faire economists who now defend it against antitrust charges, for instance. It’s making inroads with traditional business associations that once pummeled it on policy, and also supports think tanks and advocacy groups.

Keep Reading Show less
Ben Brody

Ben Brody (@ BenBrodyDC) is a senior reporter at Protocol focusing on how Congress, courts and agencies affect the online world we live in. He formerly covered tech policy and lobbying (including antitrust, Section 230 and privacy) at Bloomberg News, where he previously reported on the influence industry, government ethics and the 2016 presidential election. Before that, Ben covered business news at CNNMoney and AdAge, and all manner of stories in and around New York. He still loves appearing on the New York news radio he grew up with.

Workplace

Everything you need to know about tech layoffs and hiring slowdowns

Will tech companies and startups continue to have layoffs?

It’s not just early-stage startups that are feeling the burn.

Photo: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Images via Getty Images

What goes up must come down.

High-flying startups with record valuations, huge hiring goals and ambitious expansion plans are now announcing hiring slowdowns, freezes and in some cases widespread layoffs. It’s the dot-com bust all over again — this time, without the cute sock puppet and in the midst of a global pandemic we just can’t seem to shake.

Keep Reading Show less
Nat Rubio-Licht

Nat Rubio-Licht is a Los Angeles-based news writer at Protocol. They graduated from Syracuse University with a degree in newspaper and online journalism in May 2020. Prior to joining the team, they worked at the Los Angeles Business Journal as a technology and aerospace reporter.

Entertainment

Sink into ‘Love, Death & Robots’ and more weekend recs

Don’t know what to do this weekend? We’ve got you covered.

Our favorite picks for your weekend pleasure.

Image: A24; 11 bit studios; Getty Images

We could all use a bit of a break. This weekend we’re diving into Netflix’s beautifully animated sci-fi “Love, Death & Robots,” losing ourselves in surreal “Men” and loving Zelda-like Moonlighter.

Keep Reading Show less
Nick Statt

Nick Statt is Protocol's video game reporter. Prior to joining Protocol, he was news editor at The Verge covering the gaming industry, mobile apps and antitrust out of San Francisco, in addition to managing coverage of Silicon Valley tech giants and startups. He now resides in Rochester, New York, home of the garbage plate and, completely coincidentally, the World Video Game Hall of Fame. He can be reached at nstatt@protocol.com.

Latest Stories
Bulletins