North Dakota Bill Sets Stage For Next Big Tech Fight

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North Dakota could be the next battleground for Big Tech, as a new bill has been introduced that would stop Apple and Google from collecting a portion of the revenue from companies using their app stores, The New York Times (NYT) reported.

The bill came about when ND state senator Kyle Davison was approached by a lobbyist who pitched the proposal. Davison, who was working on other things at the time, nevertheless was struck by the idea and introduced it, NYT reports.

Specifically, Davison was drawn to the lobbyist’s argument that the tech giants were sapping revenue away from small businesses. The law, the lobbyist thought, could help attract new tech companies to the state.

“She said to me that this could be big. But to me, that means the local newspaper is going to come with a camera,” Mr. Davison, 60, said. “I would not be truthful if I said I expected the reaction.”

Supporters echoed the lobbyist’s opinion that the bill would only hurt big companies like Apple and Google.

Meanwhile, Apple chief product officer Erik Neuenschwander said the bill “threatens to destroy iPhone as you know it,” according to the NYT.

Other state legislatures have been pushing bills to limit Big Tech’s power and rein in the control these behemoth corporations have over the internet. New York, the NYT reports, is looking into a bill that would make it easier for the state to take on antitrust cases against the companies. And, in an unusual twist for the current climate, both Republicans and Democrats have come out against Big Tech in various cases.

PYMNTS wrote in the days before the Biden administration took over that the Big Tech companies were likely to see increased regulation under his watch. He took office, for example, amid a number of lawsuits by attorneys general as well as the U.S. Federal Trade Commission aimed at Facebook and Google for monopoly concerns.

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