🏇 The North Dakota law that could cost Apple and Google millions

You may remember that several companies have gone after Apple over its App Store fees. Epic, maker of Fortnite, has even sued the company. 

Well, North Dakota might’ve found a solution for them

  • A legislator filed a bill that would overturn Apple’s and Google’s entire business plans: In North Dakota, companies would be allowed to set up their own app payment systems, rather than use Apple’s or Google’s. Apple and Google have both fought against this at the national level. They make a boatload off app-store sales, charging up to 30% commission.

  • Epic had a hand in this: The lobbyist who helped the North Dakota legislator draft the bill was hired by the gaming company. 

  • Don’t underestimate North Dakota and other states: State legislatures can be tricky for tech companies. They have their own local quirks and Democrats and Republicans can build consensus on subjects where there is great disparity in Congress. For instance, one of the reasons the North Dakota legislator took it up was because he thought it would help attract tech companies to the state. 

This is happening in other states, too

New York has a bill in the works that might aid federal antitrust regulators with Big Tech. A law went into effect in Maryland that taxes online ads by the likes of Amazon and Facebook, and Indiana and Connecticut are considering similar legislation. 

The Verdict

The bill failed in North Dakota on Tuesday, but the state may have started a revolution. A Massachusetts lawmaker plans to propose a similar bill this week and Minnesota and Wisconsin may be next.