PHOENIX – An Arizona legislator is echoing the words of the late Tom Petty in her message to Big Tech. State Representative Regina Cobb (R-5) said she “won’t back down” in her fight to end the what she calls the “anti-competitive and monopolistic practices of Big Tech.”
This week, after her bill was effectively killed by Senate Commerce Committee Chair Sen. J.D. Mesnard, Cobb said she will continue to build support for her legislation to “protect consumers and small businesses from Big Tech’s monopolistic fees–better known as the “app tax.”
“Effectively cancelling a hearing to stop lawmakers from having a public debate and before Arizona citizens is wrong,” Representative Cobb. “Seeing Big Tech’s tactics up close proves that they will stop at nothing to maintain their monopoly, while generating record profits on the backs of hardworking innovators and Arizona consumers. Our fight to lower costs for businesses and consumers is far from over – I will never be intimidated by Silicon Valley and their bully tactics. In fact, Big Tech’s desperation to kill HB 2005 has calcified my opinion that checking their monopoly power is more important than ever.”
Cobb said is continuing to speak to colleagues about this issue saying, “Rest assured: this fight is far from over. I will continue to work with my colleagues from both sides of the aisle to stop Big Tech from using their monopoly power to tax our small businesses, entrepreneurs and innovators, and squash legislation keeping their power in check. They have continually silenced their critics, but they can’t shut us all down.”
Cobb says HB 2005 would level the playing field for app developers by giving them, and their customers, more choice–lowering costs for developers, lowering prices for consumers and incentivizing growing tech companies and entrepreneurs to relocate to Arizona.
Cobb offered as an example of what the bill would mean for innovators, the case David Heinemeier Hansson, a co-founder of software maker, Basecamp, who said after HB 2005 successfully cleared the Arizona House of Representatives, that the company would move its operations from Chicago to a state like Arizona that offers a level playing field free from the Big Tech monopoly.
Apple and Google’s effective monopoly allows them to force app developers to use their respective payment systems, where they impose a 30 percent “app tax” on purchases made through the App Store and Google Play store. Cobb says this not only harms small app developers through increased costs but results in higher prices and reduced choice for consumers who have no way to avoid these anticompetitive fees.
HB 2005 would free small app developers from the “app tax” by allowing them to accept payments without being forced to go through Apple and Google.